Tuesday, August 10, 2010

River City




River City. Restricted communications. Access to telephones and the Internet are closed down whenever a Marine is killed or seriously wounded. And we stay in River City until the families are notified. The idea is clear – no one wants a family to hear secondhand they’ve lost someone.

The battalion just lost two Marines. Not from Alpha Company but whenever anyone in the battalion is killed the entire battalion goes into River City. Families, of course, know this. If they are accustomed to hearing from their Marine every day or so and then they hear nothing, no e-mail, no call, no Facebook posting …

At this combat outpost there is a morale, welfare and recreation room – MWR in military speak – with phones and computers. During River City it is closed and empty. I’m fortunate in having wireless access to the Internet but during River City the radio wave icon in the upper right hand corner of my lap top screen is gray, not black. No signal. When I look at that icon and see it’s gray I know the families haven’t been notified yet. Their lives haven’t been crushed yet. I dread seeing the icon go black, that the Internet is back and River City is over. I dread that because then I know that officers in dress blues and chaplains will have knocked on the doors of two families. And two families will feel pain beyond comprehension to most.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for your very REAL report. You have done your job well because I am sitting here crying and my heart is breaking for these families and us all as a Marine family. You remind us all that life is fragile and not one of us should take it for granite. I did read yesterday that they are going to have a Memorial service back at Camp LeJeune when the boys get back. I hope you can be there, because I can tell your heart has broken for these families too and I am pretty sure those guys have now included you in this Marine Family!

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  2. You are over there with 1/2 right?

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  3. Have you found my "Chicken Little' Warren son yet?

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  5. Thank-you for writing this informative and sobering article. I had no idea that the death of
    a fellow Marine was observed in this very thoughtful way.

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  6. That was a very sad day. God bless you for doing this. There has to be an easier way to make a living.

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  7. Robert: Hope you and your Marines don't have any more trips to River City. Stay safe!

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  8. You must be with my son HM2 Franklin. Please be safe

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