“A Soldier’s Journey: Last Supper to No Goodbye” is a book of poems, journal entries and photographs marking the experiences of Orrin Gorman McClellan, a Whidbey Island native who served in Afghanistan in the Army, returned after a discharge, and committed suicide.
Here are some excerpts:
Feb. 2, 2004
leaving tomorrow. …
i’m going to miss a lot of things. The islands, my parents,
my cat. my friends. people I love.
but I’m going to be living life. and that’s what it’s here for.
am I wrong?
April 11, 2005
the dust is so thick you can’t see the sun. …
i wipe my lenses clean. in vain.
after 4 hours, the truck stops in a village of mud huts.
we get out. set up the gun.
push back a few locals who get too close.
they persist. we show them, we’re serious.
you don’t argue with an M4 pointed at your head.
it’s another 4 hours out, in a loop,
over dirt, through the dust.
passing sad-looking farms,
one goat, one donkey, 12 children.
as we pass, the kids wave anyway.
May 21, 2005
IED injures 4.
3 will live.
2 will keep their legs.
we go where no one’s been
we look for what others run from
we fight when everyone else hides.
July 26, 2005
so I come back late last night to find out schafer got killed.
shot through the head
he was going to get promoted next month
his birthday was in 2 weeks.
there is no ready.
Sept. 20, 2008
i read some entries in my journal from two years ago
i love who i was
why did I do this to myself?
was it war?
did I implode from all the sh-t I saw?
or was it something else?
was it a rebellion
does it have something to do with hating myself
for not loving myself
why did I let myself
get so lost?
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