Such Good Men
I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look
at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with
the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped
raw, right down to their humanity. I did not pick these men. They were delivered by
fate and the U.S. Marine Corps. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have
never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious
than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of
the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.
I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the
province of legend and myth.
A few of my comrades drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know
that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a
couple, perhaps, always at hand.
As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I
leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades.....such good men.
from "These Good Men" by Michael Norman