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The Remembrance Chain part 1/

The Remembrance Chain
by  Captain Marina

Rated: PG
Summary: A personal challenge issued by my better half...aka Jipster. (Betcha thought I wasn't gonna answer your challenge, huh? :P) It was to come up with a reason why BA likes jewelry. BA recalls Nam and the reasons he started to collect jewelry. Now the diary entries are written as someone would write in a diary...so punctuation etc are not perfect..(yeah that's it Cap'n blame your blatant lack of punctuation skills on poetic license)

Warnings: Nothing too bad. Death...Nam stuff...etc


Part 1

 

March 14, 1968

He died today, died in my arms. He gave
me his crucifix. Asked me to keep it. I wanted to
give it to his mother…but Brice said he wanted me to
have it, so I wouldn't forget him. I wiped the
blood from it and cried. It was his granddaddy's. Damn
fool…gone ahead and got himself killed.

April 13, 1968
Tomorrow will be a month since Brice died. I miss him. He sure
was a crazy son of a bitch. Mooned General Barnabas ..did a month in
the stockade for that stunt. It was funny as hell though.. . Never
gonna forget the look on old Barnsy's face. I'm wearing your
crucifix...just like you wanted me to, Brice.

April 29, 1968
Been pinned down in this damn hole for nearly three
days. I'm scared, but won't let the others know that.
'Suppose to be the tough guy in the unit…ain't
suppose to let nothin' bother me. Dirt, blood,
screams, explosions….death…it's all around me. I reach down and feel
Brice's cross…it gives me comfort. Talk to me,
man...help me out here. 'Come on'. the Lieutenant
says.. 'time to move'….I take a deep breath…grab my gun
and move as ordered.

July 12, 1968
Hotter than hell.
The guys and I sneaked out last night and did
some skinny dipping with a couple of nurses. Mama would be madder
than a hornet if she found out. Probably whoop my behind.

August 1, 1968
We barely made it back from the mission. Been shot, but it ain't
too bad. Just my leg. Fifteen guys didn't make it back, so I guess
I'm one of the lucky ones. Wrote home to Mama to let her know I'm
fine.

August 6, 1968
The new night nurse is so beautiful...she takes my breath away.

August 8, 1968
I found out her name is Denise and she is from Detroit.

August 10, 1968
I think Denise likes me, but I don't know what a woman like that
would see in a big ox like me?

September 3, 1968
Spent the night with Denise. She wanted to make my birthday
special. We made love. I think she is the girl for me.

November 04, 1968
Wrote home to Mama to tell her about Denise.

December 1, 1968
Got a letter from Mama today, she is so happy to hear that I
have found someone. But she is concerned that I'm too young to really
know what true love is. She worries that this place is not making me
think right. She wants me to take my time before I rush into anything.

December 10, 1968
Been thinking about what Mama said about this place and not
rushing it. Just looking in Denise's eyes however...puts all my
doubts to rest. I'm going to ask Denise to marry me on Christmas Eve.
We can get married after we get out of this crazy place. I want her
to know how serious I am about us.


December 12, 1968
I wrote a letter to Mama to let her know about my decision. I
told her to think about all the future grandbabies she will have.
That should make her smile.

 

Part 2

 

December 13, 1968
Bought the ring for Denise today. It ain't much. I don't have lots of money.
Someday I'm gonna buy her a big diamond. I hope she says yes.


December 23, 1968
Denise was killed today. I ain't sure how it happened yet. No one knows
anything, or no one is saying anything. Words can not describe how I feel. I put
her ring on the chain with Brice's cross...I ...I just want to die.....

May 16, 1969
Haven't written in awhile. Just couldn't after Denise died. Things have been
crazy. never thought I would see this much suffering and death. I feel like an
old man and I ain't even 21 yet.

June 22, 1969
Found a ring with an inscription in it. It was buried in the mud. I was on night
watch when I noticed it shining in the moonlight. The inscription said "Be
safe..." Asked everyone in the unit if they knew who it belonged to. Richard
told me it belonged to some kid named Anthony De Marco. Rich said he lost it
months ago, but Tony wouldn't be needing it where he was. He had been KIA
somewhere near the Quang Ngai Province. Found out his address from the CO and
sent the ring home to his mother, I knew she would want it back.


July 5, 1969
Yesterday was the fourth. We all celebrated by having some beers, this kid Peck
got them on the black market. He even managed to get us some fireworks. Heard he
is part of some special unit run by this crazy man…Smith…I think his name
is…some Colonel with a death wish. Smith's unit stopped here on their way to Khe
Sanh. 'Suicide mission' I heard Peck say. The Colonel loves that kind of thing.
Peck took Roberts for a week's pay. I think he cheats at poker.


August 17, 1969
It's mama's birthday. I miss her. I hope she got the card I sent and the
perfume.

September 14, 1969
A package came from Anthony De Marco's mother today. It was the ring I had found
and sent back to her. The letter said that they had given the ring to Anthony
before he shipped out. They had hoped it would be a good luck charm for him.
Anthony's mother wanted me to have it. She said she was thankful that I had sent
it back to her. She said I must be a nice boy to have went out of my way for
someone I didn't know. Especially when I was in such a bad place. She said that
my mother raised me right. She wanted me to be safe and to come home to my
mother when this God forsaken war was over. Anthony was their only child and
their hearts were broken. She hoped that no other mother had to feel what she
was feeling. She knew in her heart though, that many more boys would die before
the war's end. She said she would pray for me and my family. The tears welled up
in my eyes as I read her words. I took the chain off from around my neck and
added Anthony's ring to it. It really meant a lot to me that this stranger would
give me such a precious gift. I didn't know Anthony but I felt connected to him.
I wrote a letter to say thank you. I told her that someday I would come and
visit her so she could tell me all about Anthony. I also wrote a letter to Mama
just to tell her I love and miss her.


December 23, 1969
Been thinking a lot about Denise today. I feel like a piece of me died that day.
I feel so alone. Christmas will be here soon and I have nothing to celebrate.
Going on another mission soon.

December 27, 1969
Got captured last night. Guards beat me. I'm scared.

 

 

Part 3

 

January 3, 1970
The guards beat me again today. I won't tell them anything. They can keep me
locked up in this cage. But I ain't never gonna give in. I hid my 'remembrance
chain" as I have decided to call my necklace, in a hole and covered it with
rocks. I don't want the guards to take it. I have hidden my journal as well. I
only write when I know no one can see me.


January 6, 1970
Josh my cellmate has been trying to lift my spirits. He tells the dirtiest
jokes I have ever heard. Makes me blush.

January 10, 1970
I have a bad infection. Not feeling too good. Josh has been saving his water
rations for me so I won't dehydrate. I tell him not too, but Josh says there
ain't nothing
I can do to stop him. Especially in my condition. I say I am gonna

kick his butt when I'm feeling better, but he only smiles.

January 12, 1970
Feeling really bad, can't write much. Josh gave me some of his food today. I
tried to refuse it, but Josh wouldn't let me.

January 17, 1970
Fever keeps me up at night. Haven't slept, guards are brutal...not going to
make it much longer.

February 1, 1970
Feeling better.
Thanks to Josh. I owe him my life. He says he will collect
on the debt someday. Maybe get me to beat up some guys from his old neighborhood
who picked on him when he was a kid.

March 28, 1970
Heard rumors of an escape plan. Can't wait to find out more.

April 4, 1970
The guards beat Josh bad today, I don't know what to do. . I just stroked
his hair and did the best I could to clean his wounds. They are trying to find
out who is planning the escape.

April 7, 1970
Three prisoners tried to escape and were caught. I don't know what they are
going to do to them. I was suppose to go with them, but Josh convinced me not to
go. Said it wasn't a good time...said it would be bad. I listened to him. I feel
like such a coward.

April 8, 1970
They have hung Christian, Jeremy and Robert upside down in the yard as
punishment. They hung them out there for all of us to see. Told us that we would
suffer a worse fate if any of us tried to escape.


April 10, 1970
I can't believe they are just going to let them hang there until they die.
How could anyone be that cruel? I asked the guards to let them go but he just
threatened to hang me next to them if I didn't quiet down. I told him I was
gonna kill him when I got out of here. He came in the cage and hit me
repeatedly with the butt of his rifle. I was just about to go for the guard but
Josh got in between us He told the guard he would make sure I behaved. I was
angry with Josh for stopping me. I really wanted to kill that guard. But I
know Josh was just looking out for me.

April 12, 1970
Jeremy has died. And they have just left him hanging there. The pleas from
Robert and Christian are breaking my heart. If I get my chance to get out of
here I swear I'm gonna take out as many of those bastards as I can. I will kill
them with my bare hands.

April 13, 1970
Christian died a little while ago. He had a strange look on his face. An
almost happy expression.
I think he welcomed death after all his suffering.

Robert is nearing death as well. I am angry with myself for not being out there
with them, but I am also thankful. I throw up when I look at them...I'm so torn
up inside. I should have went with them, maybe I could have gotten us all out.
Josh says I would be hanging out there too. I just cry when no one is looking.

April 15, 1970
Robert let out his last breath today. He looked right at me before he died
and smiled. Josh says he was trying to tell me to be thankful and not to get
down on myself. Josh says I should live on and survive for them. I listened to
his words... but still doubt myself.

April 20, 1970
Josh is still trying to lift my spirits. No matter what they do to him, he
never gets down. I wish I was more like him.

April 28, 1970
Couldn't sleep last night. The rats were really out. Josh has named this one
rat Marcus. Ugly sucker. He saves some crumbs for it. He calls the damn thing
his pet. He even lets it sleep with him. Disgusting.

May 2, 1970
Josh is trying to teach Marcus some tricks. Can you believe this? Teaching a
rat tricks.
I just shake my head. Josh says that he is gonna make a fortune with

Marcus. He will have the only rat in the world who can do a handstand. I just
tell him he's a nut. I don't know what I would do if Josh wasn't here to make me
smile?

 

 

TBC

 


The Remembrance Chain 1-3 by Captain Marina