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 Category:  War and History Non-Fiction
  Posted: September 17, 2021      Views: 25

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Gordo fought demons didn't want to be the last Marine to die
"Gordo's Story" by jackorecords

Corporal Gordon Vaughn was a squared away Marine, reliable and combat tested. His attitude was always constructive, an asset to the platoon. That's why an evening's installment of Battlefield Acrimony surprised us, bringing everyone to their knees.

Each Marine felt the pressure in different ways and would find their own coping mechanism. Gordo decided to handle the situation using his own coping device.

Earlier in the week, a resupply helicopter came in with the red mailbags. The platoon sergeant opened the bags, five minutes later, "mail call" was over. Gordo received a letter, the first letter anyone can remember Corporal Vaughn receiving.

No one noticed his change of attitude and vacant expression after the mail call. Gordo's casual conversational tone began to change, focusing on the pending Marine withdrawal from Vietnam. He ended every soliloquy with a whispered, "I don't want to be the last Marine to die."

On a rainy, cold evening in the Que Son Mountains, Gordon Vaughn's demons took control. He crawled into his fighting hole, pulled a plastic bag filled with white powder from his rucksack. Shaking, he opened the package. He couldn't tame his spasms. He needed closure from the darkness he ascended into.

He took the powder from the bag, inadvertently spilling some of the skag on the ground. Ignoring the spillage, he quietly smirked, "It don't mean nothin'." A heavy snort began his intoxicating journey to the final pacification of the beast.

After ingesting three more lines, the powder was gone. Gordo then pulled four red pills from his pocket and swallowed the quadruplet.

He scribbled a note to his parents and explained how and why he was committing this remediation. He asked them not to be angry and was sorry for the pain he knew his actions would cause.

He then leaned back on a sandbag, pulled his poncho over his head, closed his eyes, and quietly resigned.

Gordon was found in his rain-soaked fighting hole the next morning, face down, life had passed from his fragile, broken body.

A routine medevac was radioed in to retrieve the body. The helo would be arriving in three hours. A toe tag with Gordon's name, rank, and serial number was placed on his big toe. He was then packaged into a body bag and placed next to the landing zone. Once the medevac landed, Lance Corporal Gordon Vaughn, USMC, unceremoniously began his journey home.

War Story writing prompt entry

Writing Prompt
Read All Rules
Write a war story with a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 400 words.
Your story must be one that details a combat event or events. This means NO story on such things as war efforts back home like Victory Gardens or Rosy the Riveter stories.
Use 1 picture, 1 color font, no music, animation, or words in picture. Dedication line optional--doesn't count toward word count. Author notes acceptable with 1 video (optional) that may incude music.

Author Notes
Steve Jacklin is a published songwriter, poet, playwright and novelist.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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