Kind of an inside story here. Marines often say ‘Errah’ in a variety of ways. Basically, you can mean any one specific thing, or a million. It’s the the tone, pitch, texture, situation, gesture that defines the utterance of this one word .
This was a moment I had blocked out of my mind until I had met up again with my best bro battle bro. I had been working in the detainee facility at the time, and he was going out on patrols. His section ended up phased out because it took over 70% casualties.
This was one of the days he came back, minus three Marines this time. He sent a very nervous PFC to wake me from my daily four hours of sleep. He walked me over to the damage, blood of brothers still caked on the floors of the twisted metal hulk that once was a tactical vehicle.
He had to tell me this story, our own, and it was still months before I began to truly recall. It was another of those times I realized a great deal of my experiences were locked behind secured vaults within. Scarred over memories, hastily patched in an attempt to fit back into the civilian world upon returning home.
I reason that a Marine has little time to contemplate these things in the moment. For me, it was about the mission, my brothers, and righteous service. It was about digging as deep was necessary, no matter what, every day, to bring forth my all. As was often said, ‘we aint got time to bleed’, not even spiritually or emotionally.
I can reason till the end of my days that I did the best that was possible at the time, but for eternity I know I’ll feel that I should have been able to to more. I have peace in destiny, and history is unyielding evidence of just that. But for this day I grasp firm the time I have, and make it the best possible in honor of those who gave all of theirs.