Jeremiah Baro and Jared Hubbard were two kids from the San Joaquin Valley. Inseparable. They did everything together from sports to social activities to signing up for the Marines in the months after 9/11. Baro joined a sniper unit. Hubbard became his spotter. They went together, side by side, to Iraq.
There were the worried families. The streets lined with flags. The letters home: “Things right here in Ramadi are a lot different than when I was in Iraq the first time. The mood of the people is very bad. It seems like everyone hates us out here.”
And then there was that awful feeling their families back home had in the back of their minds; that if one of them got killed, the other would surely perish. It almost seemed like it had to be that way.
And so it was. Two coffins lowered into the ground, side by side, back home in San Joaquin Valley.
For some reason, we’re not supposed to see the coffins. But you can’t possibly tell this story without them.