A letter to my brother.
By SGT Mark M. Middlebrook, formerly of the 82nd Airborne.
- I met you when you transferred to my platoon from another unit.
- I became your SAW gunner and you became my team leader.
- You taught me what I needed to know because I had a lot to learn.
- You straightened me out when I needed to be.
- We served together through two tours and you kept me alive.
- I followed you like a shadow because you were fearless.
- I promised you that I would always watch your back.
- You had a family so I prayed to catch your bullet.
- You kept me in front with you because I had better vision.
- We went our separate ways after Iraq, you to a new unit and I out of the army.
- I told myself the war was over but you kept fighting.
- I was on the 2nd floor of the UNF library when I learned you had been killed.
- Somewhere in Texas they played taps for you, I heard it in a bar in Florida.
- I took a shot in your honor but it didn’t wash away the guilt.
- Your passing reminded me of -and added to- the weight my body and heart still carries.
- I knew you as only one can once they have been in combat together.
- You were my brother and I loved you as such.