On April 6, 1968, two uniformed Marines came to my parent’s front door to deliver the news of his death in Vietnam. On April 14, 2013, 45 years and 8 days later, a Sacramento police officer came to my front door to tell me my nephew, Christopher James Bartish, had been killed the night before on a motorcycle. Chris was also a Marine.
When he was honorably discharged in 2005 due to a shattered leg (motorcycle) his mother was relieved. She feared he, too, would go to war. He never saw the battlefield or experienced hand-to-hand combat or a war zone, but in his lifetime, Chris experienced his own war. He had minimal contact with his father, and after the passing of his grandfather, the male figures in his life were few. Thank God for his friend, Matt Carroll, who became almost like his big brother and helped us with his memorial services this past May 11.
45 years apart, two young, handsome Marines were taken from us. Far too young. Tony was 20. Christopher was 34. They are together now.