When the next of kin sees us pull up in our most formal military attire (the Class A uniform), they immediately know what’s about to happen. Though we break the news as gently and respectfully as possible, it really does take a toll on us to watch people crumble into their most vulnerable states over and over. We help them avoid more psychological trauma at the expense of our own.
We get flak from some guys who say that this is a cushy job, since we get to stay stateside, but even battle-hardened veterans admit that this is the hardest job in the military.
My eyes are still wet.