My good friend Matt had a link to this article on his blog. Please take some time to read it in its entirety. I had a new appreciation of why the people in those blue uniforms stand apart from us mere mortals. And how some of the hardest missions of a Marine may not be in the teeth of battle.
In my many years of volunteering for the rescue squad, dealing with death was a part of the job. I never quite got to the point where I got callous about it or “comfortably numb” as they say. In all those years, I never had the unenviable task of telling someone their loved one had died. That was usually the Doctor’s or the Police Officer’s job. I only happened to do it once when we brought in a fellow EMT’s brother in law who had a heart attack. We had tried our best for over half an hour and were unsuccessful in reviving him. As I walked out of the ER he saw me come out and asked me if they were still working on him. I just shook my head and all I said was “They called it”. It was jargon, but it was something I knew he would understand. There were no other words I could utter, and I walked away and left him to comfort his sobbing wife. The doctor went into the waiting room with them to give them the official news.
How do you tell someone their loved one is dead? Not being sexist here, but it takes a REAL MAN to do that job. Especially when you have to do it over and over again. If you are like me, you will have tears in your eyes when you read this article. And hopefully, a real appreciation of what it takes to be a Marine.