AFGHANISTAN – Army Sgt. First Class Derrik Dillon, watching the world fade away from him after suffering fatal injuries from an IED explosion, spent his last moments on Earth hoping that all the good on-ramps and bridges weren’t already named after fallen heroes.
“A bridge would be nice,” Dillon said to the Chaplain administering last rites. “Of course, I think most of those got renamed by 2008. I just don’t want a shitty freeway filled with potholes like the one this IED was hidden in.”
Dr. Greg Luther, a preeminent military memorial specialist, has noted that now that all the good on ramps, bridges, and bypasses have already been named, the best a modern hero can hope for is the tranquil, calming legacy of a traffic circle for Americans to contemplate the price of freedom in.
“My deepest sympathies go out to Sgt. First Class Dillon and his family, but at least at this point in the Global War on Terror, at best, he’s a good candidate for a FOB gym,” Luther said. “And with a name like ‘Derrik’ with no C, his lasting legacy on earth will be to have his name misspelled next to a rusty squat rack, like a true patriot.”
Dillon, who always had an especially close relationship with his mother, Karen, let her know before he left for Afghanistan that just in case the worst happened, she needed to pick a good font—hopefully a gothic script like his first deployment tattoo—for his memorial bumper sticker on her Dodge Durango. He knew, even then, that he did not want to be smiling down from Valhalla looking at his name in Papyrus or Comic Sans.
Luther went on to explain that since Dillon is from a small town that just repaved a subdivision, his chances of getting a name plaque were good, and it was a good thing that he picked a low U.S. casualty year, because 75,000 American bridges didn’t get named after the Battle of the Bulge.