photo made by: James Willamor
Sgt. David Karnes and I reunite after seeing each other last 19 years ago next month.
At a stop light Uptoon the bus driver looked down at me through her window and asked, "How's the snychro?" Just then the light turned green, she pulled away and I never had the chance to tell her.
Across the street on the same block a few hours before being detained by the police for simply doing what I felt was my job, James, Jordy and I were sitting on the little wall watching the ebb and flow of the NRA crowd. I had just got done saying out loud, "I wonder if we will see anyone famous." Seconds later I stood up in disbelief and asked my friends to please watch by bag and gear.
I trotted towards him and shouted, "Sgt. Karnes!" I felt a bit like Forest Gump on the shrimp boat seeing Lieutenant Dan on the pier. "Sgt Karnes, Bill Fehr here, Golf Co. 2/4!", I yelled again. He turned, smiled and stuck out his hand remembering who I was the instant we made eye contact. We had not only been in the same BN and Company for three years together but we were in the same platoon. I had done two Mediterranean deployments with him before we wound up in the Gulf together. David was a member of the 60mm mortar section of Weapons Platoon, Company G. I remember him being an honorable Marine who was fair, smart, fit and able to communicate without coming across as over zealous.
It had been 19 years since we last saw each other shortly after returning from our tour on the Arabian Peninsula. We stood there for a few minutes trying to briefly get caught up on where each of our lives had led us. He looked like he had not aged at all and in response he told me that I looked exactly like he remembered the last time he saw me. We exchanged contact info and said good bye again.
The experience of picking this fellow platoon mate out of the crowd within the context of having been writing Part I about my memories of the Gulf was a powerful one.