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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brought from the April contest to the stories forum.


A story of survival -- by Mac Marine.

What the heck, I decided to begin writing down some of the things that are happening now and what lead up to what brought me to this point in my life. Don't really know if I will survive to see the sunrise tomorrow. Do any of us really know?

A few days ago we buried my aunt. She wasn't the first and will not be the last of this family to meet her maker in a much better place. Honestly, I was glad that she did not suffer much and was taken as quickly as she was. I am amazed that she was able to last as long as she has considering her age and what we are all having to go through these days. It's truly a miracle that she lasted the last couple of years.

Funny but just a week ago my aunt and I were talking about how we were glad that her husband and my step-father had not lived long enough to see where we are today. They were both WWII veterans, honorable patriots and Christians. They could not have handled what has happened to our country but even worse they would not have been able to handle not being able to protect and care for their family. It would have driven them completely insane as it has many of the rest of us. Their insanity might have caused them to kill their family and then themselves. At least make sure that their family was not taken whither they took their own life or not. I have had some of those same thoughts myself. I will not allow my family to be taken and recently told my son-in-law that he needed to make that decision in advance. Unfortunately, my son-in-law has taken my daughter and grand-children and moved miles away. Other than that, I would not have had to have that conversation with him just before they left.

Speaking of insane, I guess I am one of the insane. Even my enemies would agree with this statement. If I were sane, I would probably not have been able to survive as I have. Some of the others ate rats and bugs and although I haven't yet, if I were sane, I probably would have. Which is sane or insane? One that would or would not cross lines of rats, insects, or even cannibalism should the necessity arise. I speculate that for me it would be a matter of what would taste best and what would be more available at the time. Pour enough Tabasco sauce on just about anything, and it can be eaten. You would be amazed at the amount of Tabasco that I have consumed. It must be gallons.

Mind drifting back but remember that those two didn't even waste time on the Tabasco. They were both big guys well over 6'3, both of them, and I watched as they fought and rolled in the red mud. They fought over a large roach. I had watched them fight over whom would get and eat a bug before and wondered why it had never gotten out of hand with one seriously injuring or even killing the other. They both had automatic assault rifles that they ignore but none that watched could ignore the intensity of their desire to overcome the other and claim the prize of a roach. My guess it was the victory and not actually the roach that was the prize. Thinking about it, I know that this is the answer. Survival is about an attitude. It is a challenge. Not really about weak or strong. Trust me, I have known of some that were very strong crying for their mothers as they bled to death mutilated and begging for death to end their suffering. One even took his own life because he could no longer endure the pain and disfiguration heaped upon him. If you think I criticize them -- You Are Wrong! I don't know that I could have endured half as much or lasted half as long.

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Continue or not? Let me know.

Having a request to continue I will add a little.

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We really stunk almost as bad as the bodies that we couldn't get to. Over two months and only three or four cups of water a day doesn't make for great hygiene. Limited food, little water and lots of rats. The rats seemed to be the only winners in this contest. They had been at the bodies and were eating well, multiplying like crazy and becoming more and more aggressive. Malnutrition, dysentery and a sundry of other diseases took it's toll but nothing like being out number and surrounded by those that intended to destroy our group and possibly mutilate our bodies like they had done to others in the past.

Of course the rats had been at the bodies of those that were attacking us too and I wondered which the rats liked to eat the most. Probably didn't matter to the rats but where rat food was concerned we wanted to feed the rats with more of them than of us. Fewer GGRF and more BGRF, acronyms for the Good Guy Rat Food and Bad Guy Rat Food. Yes, they probably considered themselves as the good guys and us as the bad but I'm writing this story and we were the GGRF. Besides where rats are concerned, they were eating more rats than we were so wouldn't the rats think that we were at least not quite as bad. Also add the fact that we were killing more of them than they were of us. We were adding more to the rat menu than they were.

Their were a goodly number of us in the GGRF's and as a matter of defense we had formed a somewhat circular perimeter. We all went below ground and mostly set in with smaller groups of two to maybe four. My personal group had been four but was now three and we lived in a hole with dimensions of approximately 7 x 10. We had hung old blankets on the walls to stop a little of the loose dirt and had a bit of a roof made from scavenged material and dirt. It included some plastic sheeting to help keep out the rain. Nothing could keep out the rats and more than once I awoke with one running across my chest to gain access to a vent like thing I had put in to get a little better air.

Sorry if I tend to over emphasize the rats but I really have a problem, maybe a phobia, with those guys and the diseases and vermin they carry. My biggest fear was being bit and rabies. I have already had a bad case of crab lice, amoebic dysentery, multiple flea bites, bad broken and malnutrition enhanced abscessed teeth and infections of minor wounds. I don't need to top it off with rabies. There are some things that I fear more than death. The manner of dying is one. I don't handle pain well and I won't be taken and tortured and pray that when it is my time that I be taken quickly. Otherwise my prayer was only that when my time comes that if any of my family was still alive and in particular my mother would not grieve much. Being a saved Christian I didn't fear death much then. Heck, living is often harder than dying.

One of the guys that had a harder time living than dying was Bob. Bob had been a GGRF for maybe three months and told me when he showed up that he was here to die. He made it and I was with him when he did. He popped into the hole I was in and said a few words about his back hurting then fell over dead. Two small holes in his back and surprisingly little blood. Apparently and surprisingly very little pain. Bob was nineteen or maybe twenty and his wife, the love of his life, had abandoned him. He had shown up looking for a place to die and found it. Probably a sniper that had crawled in close enough to group two rounds a couple of inches apart. Don't mean to sound cold but al in all not to bad of a way to die. Quick and clean and much like what I have prayed for if my time comes. Why did I say "if," should of said when. It will come whether we are ready are not.

Another that had a hard time living had his jaw shot off. I cannot imagine the pain that he went through or how he managed to stay alive as long as he did. It ended when he took his own life. Not criticizing or condemning but have wondered if it was the pain or anguish over the disfigurement that caused him to take his own life.

Oops! I ramble as my thoughts jump days, weeks and years, past present and past again. What got us to where my mind is now with the rats, dying, disease and all. You know. It's the war. The worst kind of war. Civil war. In this war it's about socialist/communist against the rest of us GGRF's.

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Again if you want more let me know otherwise I may or may not bring this to a quick conclusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A story of survival -- by Mac Marine. --- 1 Continued


Civil war one of the worst kinds of war with brother against brother and all that. Thinking of that reminded me of an argument with my sister. Me on the side of people being responsible for themselves and her arguing that people that have more should be more helpful to those that have less. Well, our nation is very divided along those very lines today and groups that you would normally find united in their efforts are split on this issue even down to the family level. Brother against brother or as in my case -- sister.

Some are calling this a civil war while others call it a war for unification. What ever you call it, it was caused by politics. It escalated from a somewhat limited civil war into a limited international conflict in which mostly the usual players have shown up directly or indirectly. Socialist and communist(SoComs) against the GGRF's aka us.

There is a recurring dream that I have where this SoCom female is attacking me. She has an AK-47 that works and I have a M-16 that mostly doesn't. Even when my rifle works and I hit her she lives and keeps coming. I have had this nightmare maybe 50 to 100 times and it doesn't vary much. Even if I somehow manage to stop her she comes back in a few nights. This is a very realistic war dream but lately I wonder if it's more, maybe even prophetic. Thinking of the political side of the dream. SoComs keep coming back no matter how many times we have stopped them in the past.

It has been said that you never really appreciate something until you have lost it. Probably one of the truest statements ever made. Did you ever truly appreciate being able to just wash your feet and having enough water to wash them in and still have enough to drink at least for today. How about an opportunity for uninterrupted sleep for more than a couple of hours or even an hour without being shot at, mortared or attacked with rockets. Can't even take care of bowel functions without greatly increasing risk of being hit. The SoComs have kept up the attack hour after hour for days.

One attempt at eliminating one of their mortar positions resulted in the ambush and loss of more than twenty of us. Most of the dead were not recovered for more than a month and then many could not actually be identified. Among those lost were Americans of all races and even some volunteers from other nations. At least one was Canadian. Officially, Canada has stayed out of the conflict but there are thousands of freedom loving Canadians that lend a hand fighting the SoComs. Although it's possible, I have not heard of a single Canadian fighting on the side of the SoComs although many protest in their favor on Canadian soil.

Tarzan was another of our losses of the ambush. Well, not the Tarzan from the movies but if you recall the movie Tarzan's call and can think of someone doing it even better as a revelry call or battle cry you will understand how our Tarzan got his nickname. Here is a link if you need a memory refresh.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: A story of survival -- by Mac Marine. --- 1 continued


While I don't know much about the movie Tarzan, our Tarzan was a big likeable guy. He had played ball for a year in college before this war drug him in and he had weighed in at 245 and was 6'2. Of course his months of war had taken away much of that weight. His Tarzan yell was well known even from his school days and in the war it was a trademark call that encouraged us all during these bad days. Prior to the ambush that ended his life he had been involved in several firefights and had saved more than one life. Tarzan was also know for his sense of humor and one time carrying in the body of one of the enemy that he had killed his leader ask him, "Is this a fresh kill?"
There was enemy blood all over him and he licked it off his finger as he replied, "Of, course."
Both Tarzan and his leader were to be killed in the ambush a few days later. Tarzan the oldest at 21 and his leader at 20. Of the thirty or so that were killed in the ambush many were teenagers -- not even twenty!

You see reports in papers and on the tube about this many killed today and that many killed last week but you seldom really think about the torn bodies of mostly kids that the numbers represent. You don't think of the family left behind that morn their loss. Do you ever think of those that have been tortured and mutilated by the enemy or even those that will be disfigured and in pain for the rest of their lives shredded by shrapnel and bullets. What about the incurable diseases that many now carry. Another of my preferences better the bullet than the death many will know from the chemicals.

Back in December of 2009, I received an email containing the following:
""There is a bloodless Bolshevik revolution in progress in America. Most Americans have yet to comprehend it. The un-American Marxists will become more ruthless as they gain more power – and as opposition to the takeover strengthens in the nation’s heartland. The USA is moving toward unimaginable social and political unrest in the next two years. Are you prepared? How much do you believe in the original intent of our Founding Fathers? This is our generation’s Valley Forge moment in history. Stand up for freedom and liberty. Your children’s future depends upon your courage and sacrifice. In 1776, brave men said, “Live free or die.” That statement today is considered threatening hate speech. Who has changed? In the 1950's and 60's, freedom-loving Americans said, “Better dead than red.” Who has changed?""

I am not the first in my family to fight the SoComs. WWII, Korea, Vietnam and of course the political battle that we have been fighting in our own nation since the fifties. Who would have ever thought that there are so many that our motto: 'In God is our trust.' And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave. "O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!" would turn to In government we trust to meet our needs and cowards that choose living in subservience and bondage over responsibility for self. Better red than earning your own way.

OK, back to the battle. The ambush that I was talking about and the men that were lost was emotionally devastating for us. After the ambush began a relief force of fifty or so men was sent to reinforce our guys and they in turn were also ambushed but were soon ordered to break contact and return to our lines. Everyone of us wanted to charge to the rescue of our dead and dyeing brothers but cooler and smarter heads prevailed and we did not. We also did not get back the majority of the bodies of the men lost. The deaths were bad enough but leaving them to the devices of the enemy, elements and rats was something that many of us would have rather died than done. It would be more than a month before we could reclaim all our dead. Never again would Tarzan's call lift our spirits or put a smile on our faces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Continued.

Thinking back again -- hateful memories or nightmares.
Sleep depravation and battle stress do terrible strange things. At times, I thought what a foggy nightmarish dream then I realize that the fog was real - the horror was real - the dead and dying were real - the stench of human blood, guts, brains, charred corpses, excreta, fear, decaying bodies, unwashed bodies, and infected wounds were all real. All five senses screamed; it is real. Logically I know it was real but psychological safe guards kick in. That must have been a dream. Too horrible to be true and even if true it just doesn't mean a thing.

The guy was eating a spam sandwich with ketchup and mayonnaise. Don't know what else but it was a disgusting looking meal. I wondered if there were maggots in the spam like I had recently found. The way this guy was chomping down I guess he didn't care; it just doesn't mean a thing. The sandwich was only a little disgusting. After all if your hungry and you got it, you gotta eat it; right? What was really disgusting was that he ate a sandwich with one hand and with the other he scooped the brains out of what was left of a black guys skull with what looked like a table spoon. What he scooped out looked a lot like the mayo/ketchup mix on the sandwich. Bite, scoop, bite, scoop, bite scoop; on it went. I wondered if the spoon would go in his mouth instead of the sandwich. A dream? No as much as it may sound like one, this memory is seeing, smelling, hearing, living, hi-def -- true. Just processing and cleaning up some of our dead.

Processing our dead included cleaning them up, maybe scraping out some oozing pulverized blood and brains, or even sewing up a little bit and it included what I was there for. Rule was that, if possible, there would be a minimum of two individuals that would identify each of the dead. While I was there to identify two of the eighteen or so dead, I had not known the dead black guy and therefor could not ID him. You might think it a little racist to even mention that the mushed brain guy was black but it really is not as you will learn a little later, if I continue this story. Oh, by the way, it was a white guy that was scooping out his brains, and it looked like he enjoyed his work. OK, maybe he just enjoyed the spam.

This was the first time I had helped with the wounded and dead so I can guarantee that this experience covering two days is forever etched in my mind. Small things like the strange smile that one had and the exact nature of the wound of the second guy that I identified and the fact that their last names rhymed combined with the brain scooping does give the whole thing a dreamlike quality but as I said. True! True! It was true!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: A story of survival -- by Mac Marine. Continued

Continued.

A few weeks after I had made the first two ID's, I found myself in trouble and being questioned about possibly giving false information about the identity of one. What in the heck were they trying to say I had done? What was going on here? The man was dead. Why did they think that maybe he wasn't?

Well, for starters there was a war going on and just like all wars, we had our share of deserters. Yes, both sides had those that just didn't want to be here bad enough to attempt to run off or maybe even stage their own death to cover up their disappearance. I had even heard rumors of those being conscripted paying a surrogate to show up in their place. And finally I guess they might have thought that I had been bribed to make it look like my buddy was dead by claiming someone else as him.

The story that I pieced together was the body was quickly moved to an area where it was prepared for burial, placed in a casket and returned to his family. The casket was marked as "Closed Casket" and locked or whatever it is that they do. This was a little strange as there was no reason for sealed or closed casket instructions for this particular guy. The body was not mutilated by wounds. He had been hit with shrapnel in the back and it didn't even pass completely through his body. There was a slight protrusion on his lower chest where the piece of metal was trying to exit but the skin in front was not broken. His face was untouched. As I said the body was quickly moved, fully processed, embalmed, whatever. No need for sealed casket because of decomposition or disease.

His mom had insisted on seeing the body and kept on insisting after being told no several times. Finally, the casket was opened and it wasn't her son. It wasn't the guy that I had identified. He was white. The guy in the casket was black. No doubt that he wasn't the guy that I knew and identified and he certainly wasn't the woman's son. Now we have a lot of questions? Never did learn if they had all been answered including was the black guy getting his brains scraped out the guy in the casket and was my friend lying in a grave with someone else's name on the marker?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Continued

Of the two men that I had identified. The one in the wrong casket was not as close as the other one. I knew them both but felt a closer connection and greater loss for one. Thinking about it I suppose it may have been because he and I were both Christians although I don't recall if he had any particular denomination.

Denomination isn't what being a Christian is all about. Being a Christian is simply about following and having a relationship with Christ. Getting there, to the relationship with Christ, is also very simple. Admitting that we have sinned and fall short of God's glory; believing that Christ is God the Son, sacrificed himself by dying on the cross so that we might be saved and rose again the third day; finally, choosing him as savour. Very simple. Maybe that's why some miss it. It's just too simple.

I had previously mentioned "Small things like the strange smile that one had..."
Well, this is the one that had a smile one his face even though I knew that he had suffered because of the wounds and in dying. Knowing that he was a saved Christian may have had something to do with his smile. At least it gave me more than a little comfort in his loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Continued..

We were organized like any good military unit. Divisions, regiments, battalions, companies. The companies had designated platoons and the platoons were even broken down into squads. I had been with the Company less than three months when these men were killed. I was nineteen years old and knew that fighting this enemy and those that embrace their ideals was and is an important duty that I would continue until I breath my last. In war with guns and bullets or in peace with politics and words.

We had been located in this area because this was where a big part of the war was being fought and it was building to be one of the longest and most difficult battles of the war. Before we were done it would turn out to be one of the most significant battles and it gained international attention. Many books have been written, films made and even large portions of museums dedicated to this battle where thousands of lives would be lost. Sometimes when you look at it on this large scale it somehow diminishes the fact that each life is precious, each wound is real, the acts of heroism, sacrifice and bravery were individual and each one of us is fighting for survival for ourselves and each other even more than for the ideals or politics that caused the war in the first place. It isn't just fight against tyranny, socialism and communism; it is fighting for each other, and the true American way of life.


Where was I? Oh yes, I had been with the Company less than three months and we were part of, at this time, a single battalion responsible for this part of the war. We held a combat base defending a small airstrip and we held the high ground in three or so outpost in the area. Running mostly platoon sized patrols, defense of the ground we held and digging in and fortifying our positions were our primary jobs. Of course, the primary job was to engage and destroy the enemy. We would prove to be good at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Continued

Fortifying our position was critical and much time and energy were spent in doing it. Supplies including sandbags were brought in almost daily and quickly put to use. We dug trench from fighting position to fighting position on the perimeter. Sandbags were filled by the thousands. We really thought that we were well dug in and fortified but we would soon learn that it wasn't even close.

Lives would be lost because some of the fortifications were completely above ground. Others would be lost because we didn't dig deep enough or put sufficient cover overhead. One thing that I regret greatly was that I had helped build a reinforced sandbag structure that would collapse crushing and killing several that were inside. The bunker wasn't even hit by enemy fire.

What happened was we were told how to build and reinforce the bunker including how many sandbags overhead by someone that failed to calculate what the weight would be when the filled sandbags became saturated from several days of heavy rains. Although just a flunky doing what I was told, I still feel a great deal of personal responsibility and guilt over the accident. I helped build it and I helped dig out those that were buried alive and I guess that because of it I have developed a bit of a phobia about having a bunker collapse on me or some how being crushed or buried alive. That phobia would come close to getting me and several others killed a few months later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Continued.

About the same time as the men being killed in the bunker collapse, I had a very bad case of dysentery. I woke with terrible cramps, jumped up and took one and a half steps before the explosive diarrhea painted everything for several feet around. I was so weak I had to have help in cleaning myself and even laying back down. My buddy not only cleaned me but the whole area that I had fouled. He didn't harass or rib me like you might expect, and just quietly went about his disgusting task helping me and cleaning the area of the odorous mucous laced bloody mess.

For the next day or two I was mostly on my back but sometimes I tried to make it to what served as a toilet and even made it once or twice but mostly didn't even come close to making the needed twenty or so feet. There were at least a couple of times that I didn't even make it off the cot but I did at least get my rear off the edge and sprayed the floor rather than my bed. Terrible cramps and bouts with unexplained and sometimes mucous filled diarrhea randomly attacked me for years but never as severe as those first few days.

During the time I was sick I have been told that over half, maybe two thirds, of our number had dysentery over a period of a few days. It was thought that it came from the water rather than food. Our water point was outside the perimeter and it was speculated that the enemy had snuck in and intentionally seeded our water with human feces containing the critters causing the problem.

In any survival situation, dysentery is a very serious and real problem that requires careful consideration and attention. Not only making the infected terribly ill, it can and does kill. It is very possible that if I had not been helped, I might have died from the case I had. Part of the help I received included charcoal and that was the only thing I ate for several days. Charcoal was also the only medication that I received. I would not have known to do this if alone and may not have been able to burn the wood for the charcoal, if I had known. Of course drinking as much water as possible because of the dehydration was also necessary for survival although it added to the volume of diarrhea.

We must all be careful of the things we eat and the water we drink. If you are caught out and can't get other meds, hopefully you can get your hands on some charcoal and remember to force down as much clean water as possible for dysentery. On another line, remember that guns and bullets are not the only weapons that you might use or have to defend against and if time allows I will have more to say about this later. For now, prepare in advance. Learn what you can, while you can, before you have a need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Continued.

Again thinking back to an email with a video attached back in September or October of 2009.
No doubt that even then people were beginning to wake up to the takeover of our nation by the SoComs. Over the next few weeks gun and ammunition sales would grow tremendously. Even my sweet young wife, a person that didn't even like me having guns around, decided that she wanted a gun for her birthday.

Being the romantic thoughtful person I am, I also stopped by the local florists but was unable to get her favorite yellow roses and settled for another variety. Sorry after this amount of time I cannot be expected to remember what kind of flower but I do remember her comment. She said "Too bad about not getting the roses or it would have been 'Guns and Roses' for my birthday."
For you younger guys she was referring to an American rock band.

While her flowers were being prepared in the back I visited with the cashier and told her that besides the flowers my wife was also getting a gun for her birthday. She mentioned that she had been thinking along the same lines and that the lady that owned the florist shop had already bought one and was taking training. She said, "You ought to see how proud she is of herself when she brings in her target and shows us how she has done. Thanks. You helped me make a decision. I want a gun too."

Over the next few weeks I would learn that many many people that I never thought of being interested in guns were buying, stocking ammo and taking training. One of the biggest surprises was the sweet elderly retired teacher and deacons wife at our church. Prior to getting her gun from her brother she had never even allowed her husband to have a gun in the house.

One of the things that was increasing interest in guns was the debate over the Second Amendment and Obama's nomination of a rapid anti-gun person for the Supreme Court. Sotomayor. This nomination along with Obama's appointment of self-proclaimed communist, Marxist and socialist as Czars and to other high level positions was setting the stage for events that a little over a year previously would have been laughed off as being unthinkable paranoia.

Even the Tea Party people were growing like crazy and while they remained peaceful time would show that Obama and his followers were becoming very concerned about the movement that gained momentum in opposition to Obama's socialistic agenda. The video below was just the beginning.

Email with attached video:

"Twenty Ten by Lloyd Marcus"
While not a Tea Party person, I think this video is right on about taking back our Nation. Please share this. Maybe it will get to someone and encourage them to run and become a part of our fight to elect people that will actually honor their oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies..." Sheriff to US Senator, many are needed and deadlines for filing approach rapidly.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Continued


True words from the past:

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." --Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, 1776

Not that we fight for "love and thanks.." but respect would have been nice. Truth is except for immediate family and maybe some close friends there was little respect and certainly no love. Sometimes it didn't even come from family as families were split over the issues of this war.

What do we fight for? I was a volunteer and as others in my family had done, I volunteered to fight communism. That's how it started for me but fighting, bleeding and possibly dying for ideals becomes more and more difficult. Now I will tell you one of the secrets of our success as warriors.
We fought to survive -- to live. More importantly, we fought for each other. Many gave their lives for those he fought with. Selfless acts of heroism that even our enemy would never understand.

I recall one guy that was one of the least likely heroes that became one of the most decorated by earning the second highest award possible. He was a volunteer, went through training and joined the Company just like everyone else but when he arrived he told us that he was a conscientious objector based on religious grounds and refused to accept the rifle offered him.

Eventually he was assigned as our Chaplain's driver. Crazy because the Chaplain had nothing and needed nothing to drive. Not needing a driver, the Chaplain assigned him to help with the wounded. He gave his life sheltering one of our wounded with his own body from incoming mortar fire. Witnesses said that it was something that he had done several times in the past. He gave his life without even knowing who he saved.
 
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