“My job was simply to report on casualties, enemy as well as our own; casualties due to hostile…”

“My job was simply to report on casualties, enemy as well as our own; casualties due to hostile action and those due to nonhostile causes – the accidents that inevitably occur where there are large numbers of young men armed with lethal weapons or at the controls of complicated machinery. Artillery shells sometimes fell on friendly troops, tanks ran over people, helicopters crashed, marines shot other marines by mistake.”

Philip Caputo reflecting on his duties as a casualty reporting officer in the USMC in his memoir A Rumor of War. (via vietnamwarera)