A Tribute on Memorial Day
The United States of America chose to set aside an entire day to honor those brave and women who marched off to war, knowing full well what might be asked of them and still went to protect home, family, and country. There might have been stray thoughts of glory, but all of that evaporated at the first taste of battle, of seeing the carnage of war, or watching others falling dead around them. Thoughts of home and hearth became more intense and more important to them and yet they continued on through the jungles, onto the beaches, and in ships and planes to stop the tide of oppression.
I would like to honor the brave men and women who sacrificed all to allow America to remain free and to break the grasp of despots of the past. I was going to write about a close friend and horror him. We were playmates as children and grew up together as he spent summers at is grandmother’s home as out neighbor.
He went to Vietnam, the war that wasn’t a war and was killed in action. When I heard I felt crushed and heartbroken. I was the same age and was a Naval corpsman. But by the hand of God, I was spared the Hell that was Vietnam. I was relegated to caring for those who sacrificed body parts, maimed, and wounded. I was responsible to help mend their broken bodies.
I searched for him on Google to be sure to spell in correctly. I knew his name, but I had never seen it written. As the screen popped up, I felt my chest tighten, scrolling down through the names. Fifty-eight thousand men and women died in just that war. The weight of that number pressed down on me. My eyes began to tear. Not too far down that list I found what I was searching for: Earl Duane Barkley, Sgt. Army, Indian Head, PA.