Thursday, October 9, 2014

Did I already live the best parts of my life? ... And Why I Did What I Did - Nathaniel Fick

U.S. Marines in Kuwait, February 16th, 2003
Photo Originally Property of the Federal Government

"I drifted after leaving the Corps. At age twenty-six, I feared I had already lived the best years of my life. Never again would I enjoy the sense of purpose and belonging that I had felt in the Marines. Also, I realized that combat had nearly unhinged me. Despite my loving family, supportive friends, and good education, the war flooded into every part of my life, carrying me along toward an unknown fate. If it could do that to me, what about my Marines? What about the guys without families, whose friends didn't try to understand, who got out of the Corps without the prospects I had? I worried that they had survived the war only to be killed in its wake." 

"I took sixty-five men to war and brought sixty-five home. I gave them everything I had. Together, we passed the test. Fear didn't beat us. I hope life improves for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, but that's not why we did it. We fought for each other." 

- Nathaniel Fick, "One Bullet Away"

One thing in this book that really stands out to me is Fick's attempts to explain why he did what he did. But, yet, you can feel his regret in the words. He doesn't ever condone evil. But he shows so clearly, that sometimes the only choice he and his men had was between wrong and wrong, and he just did the best he could with what he had and hoped and prayed that he could live with the results. Perhaps the most evil thing about war is not only all the death and tragedy, but rather the demands it places on those who survive.

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