Saturday, August 04, 2007

Perspective: All it said was, "Hey honey"

Above: A medic rushes a soldier wounded by an IED into the trauma room at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in June.

Today I helped put another fellow service member in the morgue. That's part of my job at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad—guarding the living and bringing in the dead.

Sometimes the job entails taking off whatever gear or clothing the dead have on, which was rather easy in this case because this fallen service member was missing the bottom half of his body, along with his right arm.

In one of his pockets was an unfinished postcard, tucked into his flak jacket.

All it said was, "Hey honey."

It made me feel strange. Angry and sad and helpless too. If the man could have known he was going to die, what would he have written? He started it, then simply put it away, assuming he would finish it after his patrol.

Instead, I found it—unfinished and unsent, covered in blood.

Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune