The obscure and unknown

Once again I write this and once again I apologize. It has been a long while since I posted on this blog. That will be no more. This blog will be updated at least once a week.

I know the last time I posted, the next story was to be entitled, "Santa Nuts". That is a story for next Christmas. What I would like to do this time is tell a story form my past. Although it is not really a story persay as much as it is an event. Rather a milestone for me...

My mother and I were sitting in the waiting room at Norlanco Medical Center. Not the main waiting room, the smaller one in the back hall. I'm not sure why we were there, but I'm sure it was for me. It may actually have been when I swallowed a screw from an Erector Set, but I'm not sure (that's a story for another post). Anyway, where we were and why we were there isn't as important to this story as you may think. We were sitting there in the waiting room full of Highlights Magazines and Ranger Ricks and I had picked up a copy of Time magazine. I was flipping through the stories looking at the pictures, when I saw this photograph from the Civil War:

I always remembered this picture vivdly and I was able to find it today on the internet with relatively no searching. I know the picture may be strange or difficult to look at, and it was for me too. I couldn't have been older than 8 or so when I saw it.

Thinking back, I really believe this was my first image of war. I had seen snippets of movies or read books, but there was something about this photo that stuck in my mind. It wasn't a major event. No helicopters and guns. No explosions or blood and guts. It wasn't in a jungle or in Europe. It was a few hours from where I was sitting.

At that time (and for the next decade) I never thought that I would have my own experiences of war. I wasn't an athlete or even that competative. No way would an independent, choir-singing, stage-acting, comic book reading, video game playing dork ever be in a war. But there I was around 15 years later standing in Kuwait. My rifle in my hands and my bags at my feet, looking at a camp where coalition forces were gathering in numbers getting ready to invade Iraq.

I remembered this photo while I was over there. Some of the guys and I got on the topic of Gettysburg and how I lived near there and how they always wanted to go there. Talking about how we'd all keep in touch, get together sometime and go there someday after the war.

This photo to me is now obscure. It's been overrun with experiences and images that are of greater significance to who I am. But I know that I need to never forget this image. It's where a major chapter of my life started. Thank the Lord it didn't end with that chapter.

Obscurity overrun by war is what I want to write about in the next few posts. I want to make known to you some of the war stories that I have come across. Not just the ones you see on the front page, but the ones on the back pages that are just a paragraph stating that John Doe was awarded such and such a medal on such and such a date with no other details given. Or that Little Johnny from Anytown, USA was killed in the war. Some of those John Does and Little Johnnys made a difference. Not a difference that impacted the course of history or the war that they died in, but a difference to those around them and to those who have heard their stories.

I doubt that the six or seven dead Union soldiers in the image above altered the outcome of the Civil War, but if you take your time or do a little digging into the news, you may just find something worth knowing. Something that should no longer be obscure. Not necessarily to the masses, but to you.



Anonymous said...

Zach, I am so impressed with your story telling - you paint good word pictures. Ought to write a book. Love Ya Mom J

Lamar The Revenger said...

wow.... i'm at a loss of words. very powerful story. very powerful. nice going my friend.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to hearing your stories, honey. I know I'll cry at some of them, but they need to be told. And what better person than you! I have a really hard time thinking about you being over there, so far away from home and the danger you were in. It's a time I'll never forget and one I never want to re-live. However, you were one of the lucky ones. Or should I say I was. You came home. Others didn't. Their families grieve for their losses. We rejoiced for your homecoming. They need to be honored and so do all the others that made a difference. They're all counting on your Sarge. Make 'em proud.
Semper Fi
I love you, Mom