My guest author for this Memorial Day special is Jeremy Klawer. Jeremy is seventeen years old, but as you can see, has a maturity well beyond his years. Born in Chicago, Jeremy has lived in Florida for the last five years. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do says Jeremy, is to join the Army Reserves and then the Marines. He would also like to become a journalist. Jeremy writes for his family members, many of whom are veterans. Along with writing, becoming a certified skillsman in a trade, and finishing school, Jeremy writes his own music and plays the acoustic guitar.
The Price of War by guest author Jeremy Klawer
Fifty million three hundred twenty two thousand nine hundred thirty nine. This is the number of losses, or deaths, from wars. This is for both sides of the wars since 1914, when the First World War began.
Thousands of young American men prayed in their heads as well as aloud while they mazed through the water past dead gunned-down Marines, razor wire, destroyed ships and military carriers, and bullets zipping by their heads, able to take the life of a man the same second it breaks through the steel pot of their helmets. Some were hit, and kept going, screaming for a medic. Some were hit more severely and joined the legion of dead, floating face down in the crimson waist-deep water. Some made it to the shores, Omaha Beach and enemy forces welcoming the newly united American and Soviets with heavy artillery gun fire, automatic weapons, tanks, panzers (grenade launchers), small arms fire, mines, and sniper fire. Men littered the beach as well as their spilled blood. Some bleeding out, tangled up in barbed wire, some were screaming for their friends or brothers to pull them to cover while mortars landed all around them. Others were crawling, or lying, looking for their limbs. The more fortunate ones were still charging forward in rage and adrenaline dirtied with fear and desperation, firing blindly towards enemy lines, or calling in air strikes to take down bunkers and trenches.
In the sixties, young draftees were walking fearfully through the unfamiliar hostile jungles, trying to avoid trails for fear and threat of enemy ambushes , or weaving through the sharp elephant grass or walking through chest-high waters for days, living off of C-rations and warm water from canteens and discipline, when unexpectedly, a loud bang goes off followed by the unnerving, painful screams and cries and pleas of a man who has just had his legs blown off by a land mine, or gets bits of sharp, hot stinging shrapnel launched into his flesh all over his legs, chest, arms, and face, caked over his newly torn and ripped flesh, claymores go off and take men out, whether friendly or enemy. Unseen Viet Cong soldiers plant explosives and stalk the companies. No matter how it happened, nobody saw it coming. Medivacs rushing in to get the wounded out of the area are blown or shot out of the air, ambushes take out whole companies in the dead of night, and the last thing these men see is the stinking, hot, hostile jungle.
Troops go into Somalia to bring food to the starving and find information in’03. They touch down on point and move out for the operation when one of the Black Hawks is blown from the sky by guerilla soldiers led by a Somalian war lord targeting the American troops there. It quickly turned into a two day long full-fledged firefight between our troops and the Somalian guerillas. Men of our US military had only planned on a quick mission and returning to the base safely, and those same men never came back. They were pulled out of shot-down choppers or destroyed vehicles and brutally beaten, stripped, robbed, dragged around and killed by civilians and guerillas. Forty to sixty of our men, Marines and Rangers both, died there in that small city in Somalia, during what should have been a quick and simple operation.
On March 20, ’03, we began our years and years of dodging road bombs, land mines, car explosives, manmade explosives, claymores and others of such weapons, and lost somewhere between 200 – 300 soldiers.
1914 – 1918, five to eight million.
1939 – 1945, ten to twelve million.
1955 – 1975, fifty seven thousand nine hundred thirty nine.
1978 – 1992, fifteen thousand.
1993, sixty three.
These are the numbers of our American war-related casualties. All of these men and women knew that many would go into these wars, and many wouldn’t come back. None of them believed that they would be the ones not coming back. But they were willing to die for the cause. And they did, they did so fiercely, for you. For me. For us. For their freedom, their families, their friends, their rights and their country, America.
Of all these men and women who so valiantly served our country and fought to the teeth for it, and died for it, just as many of those brave men and women survived and live to this day, and we all know at least one of them. To my heroes, our Veterans, I owe everything, and I thank you.
My respect and thanks goes to the members of the Navy, Marines, Army, Coast Guards, National Guards, Air Force, and all of the Special Forces units.
If you would like to write to this young man, email me (see contact icon on this page) with to Jeremy Klawer in the subject line and I will forward your email to him.