Silver Spring, MD, USA
I woke up the other morning and realized that I had dreamed about Chris. maybe it was because the NPR report was on in the background and I was dozing thorugh it, remembering the faces of the young men I knew who went to War. Because they had high lottery birthdays, or because they were doing badly in college, or because they volunteered to go because their fathers had fought in WWII, or their friends or brothers had served or were serving. Working class sons of the Midwest.
I thought about Chris and I thought about Tim. Both fellows I knew, who served, and who came home. But were not the same dancing eyed guys I had known.
And I thought about how little I understood what had happened to them then. How little we all understood--their girlfriends, their family. Just because they were the lucky ones to come home seemed enough. Why couldn't they just pick up with their lives, go back to school, go to work, take me out to dances? Why couldn't they just cheer up and get on with their lives?
Years later I began to understand, but it was too late to offer the understanding.