John Prine – Sam Stone

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.

5 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 105 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10 (5 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
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5 thoughts on “John Prine – Sam Stone”

  1. One of my former students contacted me tonight. Her brother, a Marine reservist from Minnesota, took his own life several years ago. She’s participating in a program that supports low-income folks interested in making a documentary: hers will be about military culture & suicide. I’m as proud of her as I am sad for him.

  2. Wow. Thanks for this week of music, CH, and thanks for sharing a little about the guys in your unit. My heart goes out to you and to everyone who cared for them.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the tunes, Pepper. When I was planning for this week, I went back to see whether someone had been played before (or recently); I wanted to keep this as fresh as I could. You were the first to play Bombino (whose new record I’m digging) here, not too long after Nomad came out, and meat played him later the same year. Since then, he’s popped up just once, so I figured he was due, and scheduled him with you & meat in mind.

      Now I just need to figure out what to do with the pile of links to videos I didn’t play.

      And thanks for your kind words about these four guys. Even many years later, I think about them often.

      1. Yes, it was fun to see Bombino show up again! And I'll have to check out the new record...

  3. CH - I don't know how many people I had to ... educate ... on the appropriate lense through which to view yesterday's federal 'holiday.' Baffling, and not a little disheartening.

    I am extremely grateful for your post; thank you for sharing.

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