Try A Grilled Sub
Originally uploaded by O Caritas.
Mostly, I don't know them--or only peripherally. Maybe a lot of us don't. Maybe that's why we don't say more. Don't grieve more.
A waitress who worked with me at the country club last summer spoke of her brother's education and wedding being disrupted when his National Guard unit was activated. He was sent three times in all, and forced to cancel the wedding twice, but ultimately returned home safely. In the end, he married quietly, too superstitious to plan another gala event.
A neighbor encountered when I went out to get the mail mentioned that a nephew had gone, but I didn't hear anything after that. I don't think I asked.
Then, a couple of months ago, a friend called to invite my son to his going away party. He had enlisted in the army. Trevor worked with my son at his after school job at the sub shop. Think skinny, slouched, with long hair pulled into a ponytail and a great smile. They said he liked to smoke a little weed behind the shop during his break. Still, he was so responsible that the boss left Trevor in charge when he was off. His parents owned a tiny cluttered house near the shop where friends and co-workers frequently hung out after work. I remember the big flag hanging in the front yard.
After he graduated from high school last year, Trevor went full time at the sub shop. I don't think he saw a lot of alternatives. It's almost easy to see the appeal of the army. The travel. The chance to be someone else. Even the danger. He recently called my son to say he was graduating from boot camp. He boasted about the shape he was in, the muscle he'd put on, but didn't mention what would come next.
We found that out a couple of days ago when my husband ran into Trevor's sister. Her brother's heading for Texas now--and then to Iraq, she said, attempting a nervous smile.
His nineteenth birthday is still some months away.