Who can adequately explain the bond forged among us in combat? Who can put into words the value of the brotherhood that will always be ours - even among those we have not met - who shared our combat experience? Michael Norman wrote about it in These Good Men: Friendships forged from War. These are some of his words.
". . . I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity.
I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.
I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrade's drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could fall to silence.
Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand. As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades...such good men."
excerpted from These Good Men by Michael Norman