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Tuesday, July 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Excerpts from ‘A Soldier’s Journey: Last Supper to No Goodbye’

This photo was taken by Specialist Orrin Gorman McClellan during a mission in Afghanistan in circa 2005-2006. After Orrin Gorman McClellan committed suicide in 2010, parents Judith Gorman and Perry McClellan worked years to compile and publish a book of their son’s personal writings and photography documenting his war experiences in Afghanistan. (Courtesy of the McClellan family. / Orrin Gorman McClellan)
This photo was taken by Specialist Orrin Gorman McClellan during a mission in Afghanistan in circa 2005-2006. After Orrin Gorman McClellan committed suicide in 2010, parents Judith Gorman and Perry McClellan worked years to compile and publish a book of their son’s personal writings and photography documenting his war experiences in Afghanistan. (Courtesy of the McClellan family. / Orrin Gorman McClellan)

“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.

all starving.

as we pass, the kids wave anyway.

they’re smiling.

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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