I have a friend, a man of quiet courage, who served as a United States Marine in the Iraqi Province of Al Anbar. He had a front-row seat at the battle of Fallujah.
He used to be a jovial, conversant fellow. Since he returned from the Service, he’s more remote. His laughter seems like an after-thought.
Concentration comes hard – he doesn’t hear much of the small-talk that goes on around him.
He’s become a bit listless. I wouldn’t call him depressed, exactly, but I think he sees the world through a different set of eyes than do I.
I see my family out at dinner; he sees potential targets. I see a sweet, new-born babe; he sees a babe blown up by a suicide-bomber. I see the hand of a friend; he sees the memory of friends that he’s lost.
I can barely kill a fly, but I would never, in a million years, ask someone to kill someone for me.
He did it anyway, without asking, for me and for people he doesn’t even know.
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