Memorial Day, 2017: Remembering Kevin O'Brien, An American Soldier Who Fought The Good Fight
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This is from, the blog of Kevin R. C. O’Brien, who blogged under the name “Hognose”, the nickname his Special Forces teammates gave him back during the Cold War.

“Happy Memorial Day?” | WeaponsMan, May 30, 2016

Somebody’s going to say it, or a lot of somebodies: “Happy Memorial Day.” And a veteran’s going to throw a wobbler. Or at least, grind his teeth.

Or, that other favorite, “This day is all about you. Thank you for your service.”

As readers of this blog certainly know, Memorial Day is not on occasion to celebrate those many of us who survive. At least, not in the USA. We’ve got a day for that, in the bitter month of November, for good and historical reasons. That’s the day for those who returned upright and animate. This day is to honor the ennobled among us, the ones that did not. And so many of us vets are thinking about absent friends, today; it may not be an occasion for happiness.

We are about to argue the opposite.

Nobody died so that you can mope around bewailing his fate. Let us consider an alternative way to think about him, about them. Let us, rather, take comfort and find joy in the fact that they lived, however briefly; let us remember them not as they died in a flash of HE, that unforgettable sound of a rifle-bullet impact, or an unstoppable running-down on the operating table; but rather, as they live: full of life and life’s joys, or even more honestly, life’s passions. [More]

Kevin served in the Special Forces (active and reserve) for many years, and went to Afghanistan with the 20th Special Forces group in 2003.

He died of a massive heart attack on April 18.  A memorial from his brother is here.

More Memorial Day thoughts from, here:

From his earlier, now defunct blog On Serving in Peace and War , [ Link], August 24, 2005, a memorial to those who die during what civilians think of as “peacetime”.

While he was alive, I would frequently quote him here on (analysis of gunfights was always better than the MSM ) and comment on his site. I'll miss him very much.

atque in perpetuum frater ave atque vale.

Previous Memorial Day Columns

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