Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez

The losses were negligible. Two hundred and twenty-two U.S. Marines gave their souls to take Red Beach, a swath of land 3000 yards long and a 1000 deep.

They killed 1300 Korean enemies claiming the Korean city of Incheon.

The land earned its nickname that day.

The United Nation commanders were probably real proud as they watched from afar as their machinations played out. They clapped each other on the back and attaboyed the fuck out of each other while 800 American wounded screamed for their mothers on that blood stained beach.

Those wounded and dying men are not to be felt bad for though.

It was their job to catch bullets and take sand and kill bad guys.

Maybe some got told jail or the Marines. Maybe others got the draft notice. Maybe a few crazy fucks decided to join because killing commies was the most American thing they could think of to do with their existence.

They were all Marines, Semper Fi, do or die, brothers until the last drop.

While some preferred to lead from the rear other did so from the front.

It’s more an enlisted thing.

A squad leader showing his men that going over the berm wasn’t necessarily an immediate death.

A team leader actually aiming his weapon and not just firing blind.

It’s also a thing men did to prove to themselves, when in doubt over their own abilities. A thing officers did. Officer’s who joined the navy right out of high school in 1944 to fight the bad guys during World War two and got a chance to go to Annapolis. These men are also known as lucky fucks.

Missed the whole Pacific war during their accelerated education. Got to lead combat vets in China after though. Got to explain to men who graduated from the suck that while they were holding in their dead buddy’s guts and telling him everything was going to be okay, dying of dysentery, fighting an enemy that wanted to die for the emperor, they were doing advance calculus and living it up in uniform stateside.

So combat comes and a chance to prove you aren’t just a pretty boy marine with a butter bar. You were picked because there was more to you then just a decent amount of smarts.

You were an athlete. You had caliber. Fuck private Rocko and his opinion. Fuck the First Sergeant and his condescending attitude about your green to gold journey.

On the first day of combat you climb that fucking seawall and fire your weapon and kill Korean soldiers and scream your battle cry and take the pin out of your grenade and reach back to throw that little blob of explosive wrapped metal and feel hot pain in your chest and stomach.

In shock your hand opens.

The death wrapped in your fist fumbles out.

Around you are other men doing what they were trained to do. Six thousand marines storming a city that will mean victory or embarrassment for the allied cause and laying in the sand is the death of your men dropped by your own fucking hand.

But you are of a higher caliber.

You jump and maybe you feel the force of tiny fragments meant to be sent out in cloud forty feet in diameter all entering your body. Maybe you don’t feel anything but satisfaction that in the end you did all that you could and got a posthumously earned medal of honor to boot.

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Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/BryanAiello My Subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/Voyage_of_Roadkill/ My Reddit profile: https://www.reddit.com/user/Voyage_of_Roadkill/ Like my work? Become a patron at: https://www.patreon.com/BryanAiello

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