Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty

Writers Envy

There are two kinds of dead in war: those who die and those who live. Those who die stay dead; those who live die again and again and again until, someday, they too stay dead.

He died in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa, but lived another forty-nine years filled with anger that he did not die in the war and stay dead. He returned an angry old man of nineteen, no longer possessed of that youthful innocence, naiveté, and un-sensed sense of immortality that lead the young to reckless deeds and derring-do. He lay in bed at night praying he would not wake in the morning so he would not have to die again.

He came home from war understanding mortality, the transitory nature of life, what death felt and smelled like. What death looked like. He stared death in the eye as the kamikaze filled his…

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