Maj. Steve Beck is a Marine Corps Casualty Assistance Calls Officer. It’s got to be the toughest job in the military. I think it’s also one of the most important. Helping families through the process of losing thier loved one is an incredibly important task and I, for one, would be honored and overwhelmed to have that responsibility.

The Rocky Mountain News has received a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Maj. Beck and his staff as they perform their duties.

“See the people in the windows? They’ll sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what’s going through their minds, knowing that they’re on the plane that brought him home,” he said. “They’re going to remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They’re going to remember bringing that Marine home. And they should.”

This essay also contains what is possibly the most powerful image I’ve ever seen. It completely captures the spirit of the Marine Corps and its dedication to its own, and the grief of a loved one who has lost their husband, lover, and best friend. I wish I had better words to describe it, but they escape me. View the image here.

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