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I begin to wonder a lot lately where my friends and I will be in the coming years. Being always a nomadic family, my parents weren't able to keep many close friends, or at least stay in touch with them. It would become the kind of awkward hello and catching up if they were ever to meet up again. It's surely sad to think that time does so much as to make such close friends such complete strangers. But the bond you had will always be there, if only for you to look back on.

A year or so ago, my brother went to visit his high school best friend's parents in Albuquerque while he was there on business for Apple, and learned that Doug-a Major in the US Marine Corps- was away in Iraq on his third tour. My brother left his number with Doug's parents in case he should ever want to call him up to talk at some point. Some six months later, when Doug was back in the States for a short break from combat, he called my brother and they talked on the phone for a long time and decided to meet up when Doug got back from his fourth upcoming tour in Iraq. They had a lot in common: both the same age, both married for only a few years, and both with a one year-old daughter. My brother was also in the Marines for a time.

Recently, my brother decided to look Doug up on the internet to see when he might be coming back to the States and found out that Doug had died just a couple of weeks earlier, on May 11th.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/dazembiec.htm

The Washington Post piece is well-done, I think.

I didn't really know Doug all that well, but he was my brother's closest friend for a long time, and a really decent person. It's just alarming to think that they are so alike, and that it could just as easily have been my brother instead.

I had just been thinking a few weeks earlier that I don't know anyone who has gone to Iraq, but I guess I'm wrong.

I know Doug meant a lot to my brother, and I think he was really upset that he didn't know anything about what happened. He probably would have gone to his funeral, even though it was on the opposite of the country. I guess... I never want something like that to happen to me; I don't want to miss someone's funeral that had been, at least at one time, so close to me. That kind of concept just saddens me greatly. The people that matter most to you, that care so much about you, should always be given the chance to be there to celebrate your life in the end.

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