On a long enough timeline, dying is something we all do. Some of us will go quietly in our sleep, surrounded by our loved ones and at the end of a long and fulfilling life. Others, in the chaos and horror of a battlefield a world away from the people we fight for. No matter your choices, your struggles, your triumphs, in the grand scope of eternity, death comes for us all.
Plenty of veterans will tell you that being in combat means being able to look death in the eye and smile. That might be true for some, but every one of the most battle hardened heroes I’ve ever met didn’t seem to act that way. I know a lot of people who have looked death in the eye just as that old adage claims, but they rarely recount a smile. The face of death, many of us come to learn over the years, isn’t some shrouded ethereal mystery… it’s an emptiness you can watch wash over the expression of the man you loved as your brother, as he slips away into the great hereafter.
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