Carol was with Johnny all the time when he could get away on leave. Then he shipped out overseas. When Johnny drove Carol by the base, they passed rows and rows of tanks painted dessert sand camouflage. Johnny said those tanks were painted Russian forest green back in cold war days. Another time, another place was told by the paint.
But it was still far away, overseas, in a foreign world, to which her Johnny was taken away.
Johnny wrote her every week. She would take each and every one and read them over and over, then pulled them from between the pages of her algebra book and read them in class, silently. Then they stopped.
She could find out nothing. She was just the girl friend. So the car with the two soldiers pulled up in front of someone else’s house, not hers. That house was Johnny’s parents, far away in Kansas. She wrote Johnny’s mom in Kansas and his mom wrote right back. It was a short and simple note, a single page. Johnny’s mom wrote, “We’ve lost Johnny, dear.” The words were a bullet through her young heart. She showed it to sister Cindy and spent the evening crying in Cindy’s arms as Cindy held her and kissed her on the head rocking her back and forth.
We’ve lost Johnny,’ Carol thought. Johnny’s mother included Carol in the loss of Johnny. It touched Carol but it could not console her.
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