The Dead and The Wounded

Last spring three soldiers from northern Minnesota's Carlton County died in Iraq in one month's time

Downstairs, the grownups hang the two 8-by-10 portraits. Moy's parents, who are both dressed in fatigues, take off pretty quickly, as does Matt's father. But Mary and her Blue Star cabinet stay for a while. They're going to Willmar on Sunday to attend a statewide Blue Star/Gold Star Mothers' meeting. Mary offers the use of her car, which would be no trouble to gas up on Saturday night. She doesn't want to drive, though. Then there is the next local chapter meeting, on Tuesday.

On her way out, Mary rubs a smudge from the glass over Matt's picture and mentions that he didn't even own a dress uniform like the one in the picture. He told her once that all the photos were of the same hat and coat. Someone held the jacket in front of each recruit in quick succession. Matt did own a dress coat, Mary hastens to add, but he hadn't gotten together the money to buy the slacks.

City Pages intern Em Murphy contributed reporting for this story.

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