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Author David Hagstad responds: I served in the U.S. Army during the first Gulf War and this is why I slip into referring to these and all service members as soldiers.

 

You suggest that the men whose belongings we were sorting became only names to me. This is far from the truth. My role at the hospital was primarily administrative, but on this and a few other terrible days when our resources were overwhelmed, I stepped into a clinical role and did what I was trained to do.

 

I offer sincere apologies for any anguish my writing might have caused families and anyone else close to these fallen marines.

 

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