At least four guys from my unit are gone. The youngest two were killed in Iraq. The older two died after getting out of the Marines, but are casualties of our generation's war nonetheless; I don't think they ever found their ways home. They were good Marines, which means they weren't angels. They had tough times reconciling their experiences in the war with their lives after the war. The first, my one-time squad leader, was beaten to death in a parking lot by four men for saying something he shouldn't have said while intoxicated at a party. He left behind a young son. The second, a guy from my section, died alone & without benefits. Some of us made sure he was put to rest with dignity.
Neither of them will be counted in the war's official death toll, or have their name carved in stone for the ages. Every war creates its lost ones. We need to bring them all home.