A quick review of my blogs over the past two years made clear to me how often I have talked about veterans. These men and women are my brothers and sisters. The bond I have with them is the extension of the love that people who fight side by side feel for one another. They don’t call it “love”—that’s too sentimental. But that’s what it is. The most intense love I’ve ever experienced.
The bond starts when two combatants come to understand that each of them is willing to sacrifice his life to save the other. Greater love hath no man. And when one of the combatants dies, the grief is profound.
Some of that sorrow was captured in the 1922 song, “My Buddy”:
Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
Just long to know that you understand
My buddy, my buddy.
Your buddy misses you
Those words don’t express the anguish still in my soul for the men who fought next to me and died. But they capture the quiet way that soldiers grieve over the loss of a buddy. We keep our weeping to ourselves. All that others see is a silent sadness, unexpressed and not to be shared.