Squad D


Squad D

Squad D is the title of a short story by Stephen King, which he wrote in the late 70s, but which remains unpublished to date.

Main Plot

Josh Bortman is the only surviving member of "Squad D" – he was in hospital on the day the other nine members ran afoul of a trap laid by the Vietcong. Torn apart by guilt, Bortman sends a photo he shot to every family of the victims; it shows the squad, his best and only friends.
Three years later, Dale Clewson – father of the late Squad D soldier Billy –desperately tries to get in touch with Josh, because Josh now can be seen in the photo. But Dale is too late. Josh committed suicide and was hence able to rejoin his friends – in death as well as in the picture.

Miscellaneous facts

*The story was rejected by Harlan Ellison, who didn't deem it good enough for his anthology "Dangerous Visions III".
*Years later, King again discusses survivor's guilt in his story "The Things They Left Behind".
*The US trauma of Vietnam is the central topic of King's long book "Hearts in Atlantis".
*The idea of changing pictures is a recurrent theme in King's writing; only recently did he use it in "Stationary Bike" and his current novel "Duma Key".


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