In the short 22+ years of the Marines there have been a few times I shouldn’t have walked away. The first come to Jesus moment was when I was doing rappelling (HRST) training in Camp Lejeune and we lost a main pylon rod (rod that hooks the transmission to the helo) in a huey and at 70ft there was no time to auto rotate and he ground came up and smacked us in a hurry. I walked away without a scratch.

3 deployments to Iraq. Two to Afghanistan reaching from 2003 to 2010 and entertaining being shelled in and shot at in Ramadi, shot at again in Afg, enough RPGs to start a nice collection of shrapnel, had several warriors wounded all around me in multiple IEDs and again no scratches. The funniest (I can laugh now) was in Iraq and getting attacked when I was taking my once a month shower. Thought I was gonna die in the shower….not fun at the time). I live today by the phrase “when it’s your time, it’s your time” and I would  tell that to young Marines as they arrived in country in the brand new camies and sill had American chow in their guts. Not to be stern, just honest and to prove you can’t pussy foot around and worry about it, you have a job to do and your trained to do it, now let’s do it. Being scared is fine, there were plenty times I was scared, anyone that says otherwise was either not getting shot at or is full of shit.

I like living, it’s better than the alternative and if you try to kill me know you’re getting everything at my hands to kill you first and I will use a sledge hammer to kill a mosquito. Never take a day above ground for granted, never not tell your loved one you love them because in a blink of an eye, your or them can be gone. Just being alive and here is important, and being here lets you make a difference. Time for a C-Gar

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
"Your son is here," she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand.  The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed.All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength.  Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

"Who was that man?" he asked.
The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.
"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away there had been a mistake,

but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."
I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey.
His son was Killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman's Name?

The Nurse with Tears in
   Her Eyes Answered,
     Mr. William Grey………….

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