Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rest in Peace - PFC K.L.

I found out Friday that one of my childhood playmates died in Iraq five years ago. My brother found his name on a war memorial in our hometown. He lived two doors down from us, and was my brother's age.

I Googled his name, and learned that he died of so-called "friendly-fire" in the barracks on a base in Iraq. It was supposedly an accident; his sergeant who shot him through the chest says he didn't know his gun was loaded. He only served 10 months in prison. The tape for his trial in Germany is missing.

He left behind his parents, two brothers, a wife, and a son.

I guess I really don't know what happened. It frightens me, though. I sort of feel like there is a hole in my world left by his loss that any other part of my life could escape through. But I guess our mortality is always there, whether we think about it or not. Part of it is that I have a cousin who is serving in Iraq right now. Part of it is just the realization, that despite laws and the appearance of justice and civilization, we are relatively powerless, and terrible, terrible things do happen in this world.

I wrote all of the above last week. I'm feeling more optimistic now (or maybe back to some level of obliviousness), but I can't pretend to understand why horrible things happen. I hope my own son lives a charmed life. If he can't have that, at least one full of courage and dignity.