Happy Memorial Day! We celebrate it happily, because it's a federal holiday and some people get the day off from work, but actually, we're remembering the ones who died in defense of the country. It's a solemn occasion.
We have no war dead in my family. As I may have blogged once or several times before, my grandfather, at the age of 17, was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. He was wounded, and then, with the small amount of medical training he had as a pharmacist's assistant, he helped attend the wounded. After World War II, he stayed in the Navy, and also served in the Korean War. He passed away in 1994, in between my junior and senior years of high school - which is to say, when I was at the age he was when he survived Pearl Harbor.
Now let's go a little retro. I kinda already used this idea for Veteran's Day 2011, but that was before I had the aid of Pinterest.
Boys can be pin-ups, too. Oh god, the abs.
I'm loving these fishnets.
The fourth one, Jo-Ann, makes me laugh, because no woman sits like that, except while doing yoga.
Forgive a chick for being in crazy Catholic schoolgirl lust, but here Jim Caviezel is wearing Navy camo. I'm not entirely sure why - he did some Navy SEAL training or something.
...and of course he also played my fictional Memorial Day army boyfriend, Private Bob Witt from James Jones' novel. All I really want is to be the nurse who stitches up the gash on Witt's cheek when he gets drunk and cuts his face on a rock. Maybe while he's sleeping off his drunk, the hospital unit needs the bed for a more severe case, and I have to wake him up and send him back to his unit. Outside the door, I examine his face one more time, checking my stitches. I tell him not to shave for a few days and ask him if he's in any pain. He answers with a rather lewd suggestion, something like, "My face don't hurt, but I got this other ache you could take care of..."
Sidebar: In the movie, when Witt tells First Lieutenant Welsh, "I'm twice the man you are," I think he means to tell Welsh that he refuses to be humiliated by Welsh's punishment of busting him down to the disciplinary unit. However, I am imagining an alternative interpretation of this statement; see also In Which the Term "13-Inch" Is Thrown About Shamelessly.
I tell him I'm not that kind of girl, but eventually, after we've seen each other around a few times and know each other a little better, his rough-hewn Kentucky charm starts to wear me down. If I'm in a HEA type of mood, maybe we're even reunited when we get back to the U.S. (In the movie, Witt sacrifices himself, but at the end of the book version, Witt is alive.) Maybe, even though my character is from the Bronx or Boston or some such, she moves to Kentucky to be with him and they live on a farm and have babies.
As a literary exercise, it would be interesting to revisit a Jones novel from a female character's perspective. I think the only female character in The Thin Red Line is Bell's wife, Marty, and she's back in the States. All we know of her comes from Bell's memory and her Dear John letter.
But if I had to choose a back-up fictional army boyfriend, it would definitely be Logan Thibault.