Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts, James.

Your harrowing description of training reminds me of a Don McLean song:

The grave that they dug him had flowers

Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors

And the brown earth bleached white

At the edge of his gravestone

He's gone

When the wars of our nation did beckon

The man, barely twenty, did answer the calling

Proud of the trust

That he placed in our nation

He's gone

But eternity knows him

And it knows what we've done

And the rain fell like pearls

On the leaves of the flowers

Leaving brown, muddy clay

Where the earth had been dry

And deep in the trench

He waited for hours

As he held to his rifle

And prayed not to die

But the silence of night

Was shattered by fire

As the guns and grenades

Blasted sharp through the air

One after another

His comrades were slaughtered

In the morgue of marines

Alone, standing there

He crouched ever lower

Ever lower, with fear

They can't let me die

They can't let me die here!

I'll cover myself

With the mud and the earth

I'll cover myself

I know I'm not brave!

The earth, the earth

The earth is my grave.

The grave that they dug him had flowers

Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors

And the brown earth bleached white

At the edge of his gravestone

He's gone.

I won't thank you for your service, but I'll say I'm grateful you're not gone.

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