Not Forgotten

I am by my very nature a happy guy and I tend to write about happy fun stuff. As I sit here with a three day weekend and think about topics I can write about it is easy for me to try to ignore the obvious. I have been avoiding writing since Friday because I knew what I needed to write about and yet somehow I never feel like I can write well enough to cover a topic like this. It is Memorial Day weekend and I need to remember and remind all of you to remember why we have this holiday.

I have been very lucky in my lifetime to only have lost one good friend to the ravages of war. Some of that is timing and much of it comes from being from a small town and having a limited number of close friends. I am the type of guy that claims everyone as a friend and I go out of my way to meet people and get to know them.

I am the first to admit that I do not understand the need for all of the wars we have been involved in. I am also a very strong advocate for our soldiers. I believe that we as a country ask our young men to fight in wars that are highly questionable and lack a true goal or even a strategy to win. You can’t fight and you can never win and the enemy is unknown, but we need you there. Somehow it is the right thing to do and I have never heard a single soldier ever say anything like what I have just written. They are all very patriotic and they are willing to die for our country. Unfortunately, some of them actually do have to die for our country. My heart goes out to those men.

I write with tears in my eyes as I think about all of the men who have died for our country. Bruno De Solenni is the young man that I knew all to well for many years of his young life before he made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. I know Bruno would have been ok with the way I have written this piece because he knows that I love and support our troops even if I have a hard time understanding the need for them to be deployed all over the world in unwinnable wars. “What has changed drastically since Vietnam and now is that even if the public doesn’t support the war, they still support troops, which makes a huge difference,” Those are Bruno’s words. “This is especially comforting if you are one of those soldiers walking through the airport wearing your uniform and coming home on leave or returning from a deployment.” The man knew that we all stood behind him and supported him.

Bruno was a young guy and like his brothers he was wire thin and extremely lean. He came to the gym and lifted weights and he had plenty of muscle on that thin frame. He was double tough in the way a wild animal is tough. He may not have been very big but he was amazingly strong for his size. He was a good workout partner even though I was twice his size because he never backed down from anything and he gave everything he had on every set and I never once remember him complaining or giving up on a rep. He was going to get one more or he was going to die trying. He approached life that way and I am sure that made him one hell of a soldier and a damn fine leader.

Bruno was fun to be around away from the gym and he was always upbeat and positive. I enjoyed spending time and bullshitting with the kid. I was quite a bit older than Bruno but it didn’t matter because he could make friends with anyone. I am sure he is looking down wondering why I am being all emotional and all I can say is that I miss you and wish we could sit around and tell a few more stories and we might even go open the gym up in the middle of the night and throw some weights around.

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2 Responses to “Not Forgotten”

  1. JKS Says:

    Thank you for writing this. It’s almost impossible to put into words the way Bruno affected people’s lives. But the sentiment is felt, nonetheless. Oh, now you’re making me cry. Once again, thank you.

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