“Three Tips for Those Returning from Deployments,” a memoir by Rolf Yngve (fiction, ’12) appears in the latest issue of War, Literature, and the Arts.

First tip: don’t die.

Of course, in our profession, the battlefield has its accidents and errors, blunders and bad luck. Your timing can be off. You can get caught up with the wrong crowd. There are things that happen. Sometimes fate. We know this. But, blunder or bad luck aside, there are some people, always, who think dying might be preferable to return.

My point; not so. There are always better alternatives.

Returning from deployment, once, I told my pal (let’s call him Dwarf) I was so depressed about my wife leaving me that I was thinking of shooting myself. As luck would have it, the tool I was thinking of using was in hand. We were shooting skeet, Dwarf having picked this up as his new pastime after leaving the Naval Academy for real life at sea. Dwarf had an unconventional gene in him, one focused on offsets. He was so short, he had to offset that issue standing on a box to see properly over a destroyer’s bridge wing. He was smaller than everyone else, so he benched pressed three hundred pounds. I always thought skeet offset golf for him in some way. He was a great wing shot, not so good a golfer. He had that sort of pragmatic sense of balance...[Keep Reading]…


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