The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Weekend Recap 3/14/10
Well my friends, I have some exciting things going on this coming week. This week will be 100% hog-centric! We are starting off with a couple of days of pig-sticking British Raj style. Then we are off to some modern day pig-stickers.Then we will finish off with more pig hunting in Europe.
Since this is a recap, a little bit about what I have been up to. This week has been a little tough on me. I am still slightly disoriented from my short stay in Afghanistan. I don't like crowds, I'm still waking up at odd hours and sometimes I'm momentarily confused as to where I am. I have to admit though, that I am anxious to get back. I made some new friends, and I hate the thought of leaving them behind, or shorthanded. There is something about being in a dangerous and difficult place, far from home and the familiar, that seems builds deep, honest, and lasting relationships.
Don't know the young man. Don't remember his rank. Don't know anything about him, except...
He was killed in some miserable part of Afghanistan.
Don't know how he died, and I really don't want to. All I know is that somewhere in Afghanistan, his life slipped away from him. All I know is that his name is seared into my brain.
I was helping the crew sort mail, when I pulled out a plastic bag with a handful of mail from inside a mail bag. Not giving it any thought, I tore the bag open, and as the mail fluttered and slipped out of the bag, a single sheet of paper stubbornly stuck inside. I reached in and pulled it out, flipping it to the printed side so I could make out what it was all about. All the other mail fell and scattered into a large canvas laundry style cart, with more mail being dumped on top.
As the sheet flipped over I caught the official looking template. In a moment the words, "CASUALTY MAIL" jumped out at me.
"STOP!" I screamed.
The other fellows stopped in mid stride, some looking at me, others looking around wondering what had happened.
I turned the page over so they could see what happened.
"Shit..." came from one of the fellows.
Without thought, each one of them reverently passed the paper around.
They were memorizing the name.
Without any direction they carefully started sifting through the dumped mail. Two carts materialized as word got around. More hands appeared as all the other work slowed so others could help. As each piece of Dillon's mail reappeared they handed it to me. I unwittingly mixed it in, it was my responsibility to make sure each and every piece was put together again.
There were only six pieces total, but we went through every piece in that cart. No one would take a chance that any of his mail stayed behind.
For some time thereafter, we were a little more muted than usual.
Casualty Mail will do that to you...
I mention that story only to illustrate some of the things that transpire. Things that in of themselves may not seem like much to an outsider, but to those that experience these things they can make an immeasurable impact.
Remember the fallen. Honor the brave.