Thursday, September 10, 2009

WC: My Condolences, Whoever You Are

Getting dressed this morning, I had half an ear on the radio. The report was about an explosives expert in the Marines who had been killed in Afghanistan after two tours of duty in Iraq. I had my usual mixed response: sadness for him and his family, an inability to quite understand why someone would want to be in the military, and confusion about whether we should be in Afghanistan at all. And then I heard something along the lines of "He was 34 and never married."

And suddenly I could see his boyfriend, mourning and distraught, with no recognition from the military or the Marine's family, no inherited benefits, no flag folded into a triangle. I hope he is at least surrounded by his own group of friends and family, but if he is in the military too, it's possible that he is isolated, deep in a dark, lonely, miserable closet.

Yes, it is possible that this particular Marine was a straight guy who just never married. But the scenario I describe above has happened to dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of people. The military should be ashamed.

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