pieces

He wasn’t sure how he was going to put it all back together. He’s been home six months now and it was clear that nothing was going to be the same. Worse was that nobody here was someone he could expect to understand.

Nobody here in little town Oregon had to sacrifice for Vietnam at all. Most everyone here had been able to play it safe. It was the poor sons of a bitches with no College and no hope of escape from the draft that did. As he made his way around town, you could see people’s conversations about it trail off like forbidden whispers.

Over there, he’d met so many people, learning their jungle nicknames just long enough to remember them in a prayer service a few days afterward. He remember the day he was promoted and would be leading a squad. His men didn’t know whether to congratulate him or say sorry. Who wanted to lead anybody or anything into the shit?

He was lucky enough to have come home intact. At least, physically. He would come out here to the beach of his youth and let the dull roar of the surf replace the echoes of suffering ringing in his ears.