Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fallen soldier ceremony

Today I woke up to a cold rain and a cold dose of reality. Where I'm stationed, and what I'm doing keeps me out of harms way, but it doesn't mean I'm not in a war zone. Anytime a soldier dies here in Afghanistan, their body comes to Bagram to be taken where ever it is going. When it gets to Bagram all the soldiers here line the main street on both sides. This morning a french soldier arrived, and I went out for my first fallen soldier ceremony.

We lined both sides of the main street, two or three rows deep in some parts. We stood silent and somber for roughly twenty minutes at parade rest. An escorted Humvee drove by with a casket that was draped with an American flag. There were six soldiers, that looked like they were french (I haven't gotten used to all the foreign uniforms yet) riding in the back with the casket. As it passed we all came to attention and then saluted. I've never seen so many soldiers make so little sound.

For some reason all I could think about was unchecked emails. All the jokes that wouldn't be laughed at, all the spam mail that wouldn't be bothering anyone, the caring letters unanswered, and the photos that would never be seen. I wondered if there were any emails in his inbox that someone regretted sending, and if there were any that weren't there that someone regretted not sending.

I hope that his life wasn't given in vain.