Heartbreaking. Poignant. Poetic in its bluntness. The story finds a simple elegance in the most basic of details about how one soldier's body was brought home. You'll learn about everything from the bugler who plays "Taps" to the proper folding of a casket flag to the thoughts of the generals who must meet every casket, and more. It's journalism at its best, right there. We need to know about these things, we need to never forget how shattering war is. (Do not, do not get me started on how Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have never seen a second of combat between them.)
Excerpt: "Karen Giles tells a story about another young airman, who was polishing the brass on a dead soldier's uniform jacket. He was using a little tool, a kind of buffer, to make sure that every button shined. A visitor complimented him on his attention to detail. "The family will really appreciate what you're doing," the visitor said. But the airman replied, "Oh, no, sir, the family won't know about this." The airman told him that the family had requested that their son be cremated, and just a short while later, he was."
Of course, the article's title is a play on Tim O'Brien's fabulous book about Vietnam, "The Things They Carried."
(Link fixed, thanks!)
That Amazon link reminds me...thanks to those of you who follow Amazon links from PCJM and occasionally buy things. I don't make money off PCJM -- ditched my one lame attempt at Google ads when they slapped some ad about PANTIES on the site. But every couple months your purchases via my links get me a small Amazon gift certificate, which is awesome. And whoever bought Photoshop after getting to Amazon via one of my links, God bless you! I promise never to link to any crap just because I'm greedy, only to stuff I would or have bought myself.