30x40, Acrylic on Canvas
Aug 6th, 2005 was the day I lost my smile.
Al Asad, Iraq.
I volunteered for a mission. It was late at night, most of us were sleeping. No one knew what we were doing, we just assumed it was some mindless barracks chores. Being Motor Transport, we were instructed to go to Mortuary Affairs on base. An AAV unit of Fourteen Marines and One Iraqi interpreter was blown up during a mission by the Haditha Dam. I was to pick them up and bring them to the flight line so they could be shipped home. When I got there, I helped with the identification process. I?ve seen dead bodies before, but this was different. These men had the same uniform on as I did. These were fathers, sons, husbands and brothers to someone. These were people that gave the ultimate sacrifice, fighting for what they believe in. As I passed one Marine on the table, a small amount of excess fluid came out of the side of his eye like a tear. This small gesture summed up the feeling of the examination room. This is the room I will never forget. The room that took my smile.
It is never too late to get help. Never give up fighting. The end result is happiness. Happiness is love and love is the reason for living.