Was looking through a few more of the 6th Cav shots, and ran across this one. This is Hunter Miertschin, who’s portraying a Navy SeaBee radioman.
We think of the vets from WWII and they’re old men now. Gramps, great-grandpa, “Uncle” George (who’s really dad’s uncle but he hates to be treated like an old man, even when his knees don’t work and his hair’s gone and he shuffles more than walks…)
And here’s Hunter, looking for all the world like a kid caught playing with stuff he found in an old trunk in the back of the attic.
He’s a kid. And just barely a kid, at that. He ought to be curled around a book somewhere dreaming of kings and knights and explorers, or wandering the woods by a stream somewhere with a hook on a string, pestering the fish, or maybe patching a bike tube or tweaking the engine of his goosed-up little Honda. The helmet’s too big, the carbine (which is a little bitty rifle) looks like it’d knock him ass-over-backwards if he had to shoot it.
Let that sink in. We’ll wait.
He’s exactly the right age. When the old man climbed over the side of a ship in the surf off Normandy, or Tarawa, or some other hell on some other sand, going to put an end to the big war started by the biggest madmen of the age (maybe of all ages) he looked like this. JUST like this.
Think about that. Think HARD.
And then if it happens that you’ve got a grampa or great grampa, or an “Uncle” George, who was there, at Normandy or Anzio or Saipan or Iwo Jima or any of the other hells, and he made it back and he’s still with us, go find him and shake his hand and say thank you… and if he’s willing, let the old man tell his tales again. (And this time take notes and maybe a recorder, if he’ll let you, because these are the guys who did one of the Great Things, and we’re losing their stories WAY too fast. And if we lose the stories, we lose the history… and if we can at the least keep the history, there’s at least some chance we won’t have to send kids like Hunter to do it again.)
Because they’re just kids.