Detroit Free Press
By John Carlisle Columnist
July 7, 2013
LAPEER — It was her son’s birthday.
As she does every year, Darcy Monier drove the hour and a half from Lapeer, where she lives, to Chelsea, where he grew up and where he is now.
She took the winding road through the old cemetery, past a sea of American flags poking up from the ground. She parked within sight of the old clock tower, just against the railroad tracks, right by his grave.
Her son, Donald McCune II, would be turning 29 that day.
But he has been dead since he was 20.
Nine years ago, while serving in Iraq and driving down a road as the gunner on a Humvee, a roadside bomb went off and blew up his vehicle. The three soldiers riding with him were badly injured, but they survived. He didn’t.
Next to McCune’s well-kept grave sat a mound of upturned dirt, so freshly dug it hadn’t yet settled to the ground. So new that no tombstone had yet been put there.
Her husband was just buried there. He’d killed himself three weeks before.
Like Monier’s son, he, too, served in Iraq. Twice. But both times when he came home, he brought some of the war back with him, and finally it became too overwhelming to bear anymore.
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