i don't know what brought up the subject that night in early april, eight years ago; but, gary, my brother-in-law, started telling me a story about the most frightened he'd ever been in his life. as he told the story, i hung onto his every word. for, it was hard to believe that as a u.s. marine gary was EVER frightened; further, gary NEVER spoke of his time in vietnam.
"my marine buddy and i were right in the middle of an open field... on duty keeping watch that night. it was pitch black... not a star in the sky. we were sitting back-to-back taking turns sleeping. knowing that noise of any kind could mean our demise, we nudged one another with our elbows (one quick nudge) to trade off sleep time."
"it was our code... i nudged once to let him know that i was getting sleepy, and he nudged me back to let me know he was awake."
"anyway, wilson was asleep when i heard what i thought was someone heading in our direction. i gave him a quick, double-elbow punch. that was our signal to one another that the enemy was approaching. we had the process of going from sitting to standing positions down to a fine art."
"in a matter of a noiseless second, the two of us were standing erect... back-to-back!!! i don't think either of us were breathing, and it was a good thing too because the enemy passed in front of me so closely i could feel the air move between us."
gary had a way of telling stories. i felt like i was right there in the war zone with him and wilson. the story gave me goosebumps!!!
that was all he told me that night. i have often wondered, if given the time, if he would have told me more???
my brother-in-law died two days later from cancer. i have also often wondered if his cancer stemmed from "agent orange" to which he may have been exposed while serving his country???
love and God's blessings,