There is an episode of NCIS entitled “Call of Silence” in which Charles Durning plays a World War II Medal of Honor recipient who arrives at NCIS claiming to have killed a marine with his handgun.
Special Agent Gibbs is determined to prove that it was not murder, to keep Durning’s character from being prosecuted and losing his Medal. During the course of the investigation, the team reconstructs the Battle of Iwo Jima to figure out what actually happened.
It is eventually decided that Durning’s men were only feet away from the Japanese when his best friend stepped on a land mine, losing both legs. He was screaming in pain and Durning’s character had hit him over the head to try and knock him out. He hit him too hard, however, and the friend died as a result.
Durning’s character is still so traumatized by this incident it is as if it had just happened; and as they make him go over and over his story, his anguish is heartbreaking.
This episode always reminds me of all the men and women that have served this country and have fought for our freedoms.
My heart breaks not only for those that died defending this country but also for those that have returned home wounded in body and spirit. It breaks for those that have to fight the memories for the rest of their lives.
My dad was an ambulance driver in Africa and Europe; his best friend died at Anzio. He could not talk about the horrors he encountered. The one time I asked him about it, he broke down and sobbed, pulling on his hair at the memories, much the same way Charles Durning’s character does in the NCIS episode.
My father-in-law suffered permanent frostbite damage to his feet during the Battle of the Bulge; and one of my husband’s brothers was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago from being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
As I watched this episode of NCIS recently, it hit me that all those men and women that have suffered and died, all of them that will suffer emotionally and physically for the rest of their lives deserve to have the rest of us stand up and fight for the freedoms that they fought for.
We need to make our voices heard throughout this country and stop the rampant assault on the very things that we hold dear. We need to stop the few from taking the rights away from the many.
Otherwise, what have all of those men and women been fighting for?
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2013