Posted by: mesabimisadventures | May 31, 2010

Never Coming Home

“When we landed on Okinawa, the Japs didn’t shoot at us.  Not on the first day.  They didn’t shoot at us on the second day either.  On the third day, they started shooting at us.”

His 90-year-old eyes looked towards me, but through me, to a land thousands of miles and 70 years away from that kitchen table.  An island where his youth and innocence is buried in the soil with the blood of his fellow soldiers who were not able to return home to their kitchen tables. 

These young men, hardly men, boys in soldier’s clothing, storing away their hopes and dreams of the men they may become.  Postponing individual plans to protect the futures of many, in countries they know only from their high-school geography classes taken a brief few years prior. 

Young men, future men, boys in letter sweaters, saying good-bye to those they love for a year hopefully, for forever potentially, unscarred never again.  Discovering a new normal where it may not be death that scares them as much as the knowledge that it will come, but when and to which one of them is unknown.  Pushing through every single day, hoping just to see the next day, while their peers back home blindly carry on with their lives of fraternities and final exams.     

Young men, barely men, boys buried under white headstones, buried in a country whose language they cannot speak.  Never coming home to start a career, a family, a life beyond their teenage years.  Never coming home to sign mortgage papers, new car loans, birth certificates of their children.

Never coming home so that others could.

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Responses

  1. […] He was an awesome ol’ timer to talk to and a conversation with him in 2010 inspired this blog posting about the men that never got to come home from the war.  His letters home never were explicit […]


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