?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Veterans - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Veterans [Nov. 11th, 2009|01:04 pm]
kyle cassidy
[mood |thankfulthankful]

Feel free to repost as appropriate.


On this and every day, thanks to all the servicemembers and veterans who take on the most important job a country can ask of its citizens.

Bobby Martin, Corporal
United States Marine Corps
E Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Division
September 1966-September 1968


I got my tattoo on Fathers Day 1987 or '88. We stopped at a red light, my wife wanted to buy me something, I looked out the window, we were
right next to a tattoo parlor, and I said "You know what? I want that Marine tattoo" My oldest daughter designed the letters along the top, and I went and got it.

I think about a lot of things when I think of those days. It's mostly the comradeship; we were like a family in that short period that we were together. I miss the hell out of them. But I also remember the day I got wounded. October 21st 1967 -- mortar round. I knew I was hit bad because I was bleeding in the front -- tore a hole in the front of my stomach, and there were holes all in my arms and I could feel the blood all rolling around in my back -- I had a hole up in the middle of my back, that missed the spine, fortunately, but just nicked the artery. My best friend said to me "Bobby, I can' t stop the bleeding." I was weak, I was tired, I knew that I was bleeding to death.

At that point I knew it was over -- I knew I wasn't going to make it. At that moment, I was at peace with myself -- I wasn't upset, I sat there and waited for the end.

The thing that really saved me was that there was a medevac that was flying right over head -- he heard the radio call and said "I'm right there" and they picked me up. When we landed at the air strip in DaNang, they didn't even take me off the chopper -- two corpsmen jumped in, and they grabbed my arms and started giving me plasma and blood. Talking to guys from the company afterwards, they told me that we were wounded at about 9:20 Saturday morning and I believe they started the operation at 10:45, so within an hour and twenty minutes I was forty miles away and in the operating room. The surgeons told me afterwards that I should have bled to death, and that the wounds themselves should have killed me, but somewhere there I had the will to live.

It's like my 2nd birthday -- I started life again right then. I celebrate it every year with my wife and my kids. My wife -- we were engaged before I went over, she waited for me -- always hugs me and kisses me on that day -- It's a day I'll never forget.

I always wanted to be a Marine. Just the idea of doing something that I thought was right -- if you believe in something, like freedom, that strongly then I think you should be willing to defend it. That's what I thought about it.




From my photo project Warpaint: Tattoo Culture and the Armed Forces
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: skitty_kitty
2009-11-11 06:37 pm (UTC)
Great photo and story, this is perfect for today. Thanks for sharing.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nebris
2009-11-11 06:43 pm (UTC)

Semper Fi!

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ammateur
2009-11-11 06:49 pm (UTC)
Have you ever seen the Soviet tattoos? ;)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: onmyownterms
2009-11-11 06:54 pm (UTC)

Very moving...

This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this Kyle.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: katden
2009-11-11 06:57 pm (UTC)
LOVE.
Thank you for sharing this.
May I copy to my journal?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 07:15 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. Everyone should feel free to retweet as appropriate.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: katden
2009-11-11 07:16 pm (UTC)
Done! Thank you. Have a super day :D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jettcat
2009-11-11 07:00 pm (UTC)
I've had to pass this on, it really captures veterans day.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 10:47 pm (UTC)
thanks for passing it on.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: russtycat
2009-11-11 07:00 pm (UTC)
The story really choked me up. My father fought in the Vietnam war and my husband in Desert Storm. I waited for my husband to come home again, to and love on him every day. I'm thankful he fought to help people have freedoms that many of us take for granted. But I'm even more thankful he came home to me again.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 10:46 pm (UTC)
thanks for caring.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2009-11-11 07:08 pm (UTC)
I miss your work on this project.

The other day, I spoke with a Vietnam veteran. We were talking about something he felt very strongly about - something where people in positions of authority were not quite fully honest with someone he cared about - and he started getting hyped the same way my friends with PTSD get hyped. We talked about that. He's still fighting the war in his head. He's still fighting it everyday. The names may have changed, but the emotion is the same.

I want peace, dammit. Armistice Day was for the War to End All Wars.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gravityslave
2009-11-11 07:36 pm (UTC)
I don't know you, but I hear you. Thanks. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 10:46 pm (UTC)
Yah, I took what turned out to be a 1 year hiatus to work on WKAP and now I've gotten sidetracked again. Soon I hope.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: drag0nette
2009-11-11 08:27 pm (UTC)
awesome collection of pics there! and amazing stories as well. fave story is this one of bobby martin. fave tattoos are on the anonymous guy - with exsolvere and incolumis on his arms.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: misconstrue
2009-11-11 09:13 pm (UTC)
wow, this project is really powerful and i wish i could articulate in words what it made me feel. you've really given us a chance to see what it's like for the veterans, of all ages and from all different eras. it's a really amazing tribute to some very amazing people.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 10:45 pm (UTC)
thanks for taking the time to post about it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mutantenemy
2009-11-11 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this, Kyle. I saw every photo, read every story, and gulped back quite a few tears.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 10:45 pm (UTC)
thanks for reading.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gieves
2009-11-11 10:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this, Kyle. It's a great reminder of exactly who it is we should be thanking today, and why.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2009-11-11 10:45 pm (UTC)
thank you for taking the time. and for the comfy guest bed, (even if it was cat-free.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gieves
2009-11-12 09:35 pm (UTC)
It was a pleasure having you stay with us! (Sorry about the cat-freeness of the guest bed. Next time we could offer the futon that comes with guaranteed cats if you'd prefer. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: adelheid_p
2009-11-12 01:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for the post. And I hope you get back to this project, too. It's a very good idea. I find it kind of interesting that both of my parents were in the Marines during the Korean war (it's where they met) but neither had/have tattoos (my mom passed in 1994).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: littlegoth
2009-11-12 02:41 am (UTC)
Thank you for remembering us... and for honoring them...

There aren't enough words to tell those who served during war how much we're grateful for their sacrifice..
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tabor330
2009-11-12 04:50 am (UTC)

Shared this on FB

No one that I know in the armed services wants war. They are all working for peace. Just lovely
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: merlin513
2009-11-12 09:08 pm (UTC)
wonderful post! have emailed the link on to all my friends so that they can read/enjoy/consider it. Some really heart-wrenching & heart-warming stories there. Thanks for going to the effort. Cheers, later
(Reply) (Thread)