Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Perspective: Iraq veteran home, now protesting war

Spc. Beau Beaulieu was walking back from lunch when he was killed on May 24, 2004, by a mortar attack in Taji, Iraq. Beaulieu and Brian Clement, both Maine natives, had just completed a three-week mission together.

OLD TOWN - The boots. The helmet. The rifle. The dog tags.

A tribute to a fallen soldier. A faceless memorial, unless it belongs to a friend.

"It’s not a good story," Spc. Brian Clement began.

"As the armorer, I had to take care of his weapon, which he had been carrying when he was killed," Clement continued, his speech slowed as he sought the words to describe his friend’s death.

"It was pretty filthy, and I had to make it like new for his funeral. I didn’t see him, thankfully; that was all I needed to see — his rifle. It was just … it was, it was gory …," Clement’s narration trailed off, but as his eyes glazed over and he swallowed hard to fight back tears, it was evident the images were playing in his head.

From the Bangor Daily News