DAVE

By Dave L. Moyer

 

The Owasco Chronicles

"It isn't the waiting around so much, that's to be expected. It's the goddamned not knowing what's coming at you that gets ya; semper whatever wheels."

These were the last words someone by the name of Dave ever spoke to me. It wasn't strange that at the time I didn't even let the words sink in or even take special notice of the farewell. I hardly knew him but I understood the gesture. To most it was obscene but it summed up everyone's feelings in one short movement. He didn't like it here. None of us did but he seemed to revel in his particular brand of dislike.

Dave as I knew him never came back. Just a badly wounded, unconscious body.

I remember standing as the starboard wing looking down as the litter was brought on board. I remember the tongue depressors sticking out of his mouth to keep his jaw from fusing. I remember the call from sickbay. Dave was dead.

The entry in the Quartermaster's Log was simple enough. "EN2 David Merrick, USN died on board this unit at this time from wounds received from the enemy engaged in hostile action."

They brought him on the main deck and stood over him as the "Swift" came alongside. The body was lowered onto it's fantail slowly and quietly. God was it quiet. The ensign was lowered to half-staff by the chief of the boat and the "Swift" planed towards the Cua Viet. Dave was gone.

That's what I remembered ".................it's goddamned not knowing what's coming at ya." ........................ He was right.

 

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