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Posts posted by EWO

  1.               Cemetery Escort Duty

    I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's for a few cold ones.

    Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go

    before the cemetery gates are closed for the day.

    Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever --

    the heat and humidity at the same level -- both too high.

    I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, looked factory-new.

    It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace .

    An old woman got out so slow I thought she was paralyzed.  She had a cane and a sheaf of flowers,

    about four or five bunches as best I could tell.

    I couldn't help myself.  The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste:

    "She's going to spend an hour, and for this old soldier my hip hurts and I'm ready to get out of here right now!"

    But for this day my duty was to assist anyone coming in. Kevin would lock the "In" gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along ,

    we might make the last half of happy hour at Smokey's.

    I broke Post Attention.  My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and the pain went up a notch.

    I must have made a real military sight; middle-aged man with a small pot-gut and half a limp,

    in Marine Full Dress Uniform, which had lost its razor crease about 30 minutes after I began the watch at the cemetery.

    I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk.  She looked up at me with an old woman's squint.

    "Ma'am may I assist you in any way?"

    She took long enough to answer. "Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers?

    I seem to be moving a tad slow these days."

    "My pleasure Ma'am."  Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.

    She looked again.  "Marine, where were you stationed?"

    " Vietnam , Ma'am.  Ground-pounder. '69 to '71."

    She looked at me closer.  "Wounded in action, I see.  Well done, Marine

    I'll be as quick as I can."

    I lied a little bigger  "No hurry, Ma'am."

    She smiled, and winked at me.  "Son, I'm 85-years old and I can tell a lie from a long way off.

    Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman,

    and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time."

    "Yes, Ma'am.  At your service."

    She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of the bunches out of my arm

    and laid it on top of the stone. She murmured something I couldn't quite make out.

    The name on the marble was Donald S. Davidson, USMC, France 1918.

    She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section, stopping at one stone.

    I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone;

    the name was Stephen X. Davidson, USMC, 1943.

    She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J. Wieserman USMC , 1944.

    She paused for a second, "Two more, son, and we'll be done"

    I almost didn't say anything, but, "Yes, Ma'am. Take your time."

    She looked confused. "Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way."

    I pointed with my chin. "That way, Ma'am."

    "Oh!" she chuckled quietly. "Son, me and old age ain't too friendly."

    She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones

    before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman USMC, 1968,

    and the last on Darrel Wieserman USMC, 1970.

    She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out. "OK, son , I'm finished.

    Get me back to my car and you can go home."

    "Yes, Ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk ?"

    She paused. "Yes, Donald Davidson was my father; Stephen was my uncle;

    Stanley was my husband; Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in action, all Marines."

    She stopped, whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know.

    She made her way to her car, slowly, and painfully.

    I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over to Kevin waiting by the car.

    "Get to the "Out"-gate quick. I have something I've got to do."

    Kevin started to say something but saw the look I gave him.

    He broke the rules to get us there down the service road. We beat her.

    She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet.

    "Kevin, stand to attention next to the gate post. Follow my lead."

    I humped it across the drive to the other post.

    When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges

    and began the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice:

    "TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!"

    I have to hand it to Kevin, he never blinked an eye; full dress attention

    and a salute that would make his DI proud.

    She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a send off she deserved,

    for service rendered to her country, and for knowing Duty, Honor and Sacrifice

    I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.

    Instead of "The End".... just think of "Taps".

    As a final thought on my part, let me share a favorite prayer:

    "Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home

    or over seas. Hold them in Your loving hands and protect them as they protect us."

    Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before,

    in our thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy.

    "In God We Trust"

    Sorry about your monitor, it made mine blurry too !  -  Jim

  2.                                                      My Apology to the Arab World                                                 

                                                        by Nationally Syndicated Columnist

                                                                      Mike Adams


  3. This may have been posted before BUT we need reminding from time to time.

    Read this description first, and then 'play' the

    attached song. The song you are about to listen to is from a Las Vegas

    Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate resounding standing

    ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it!

    Everyone who loves America should be thrilled to hear this song!

    Although Diamond Rio has never before done a statement song, they felt

    compelled to record 'In God We Still Trust.'

    But guess what? Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it

    was considered 'politically incorrect'. Consequently, the song was

    never released to the public. So America, see what you think. If this offering

    speaks to your heart and you feel to share it with friends and loved

    ones, please do.

    Here In America

  4.       A Different Christmas Poem

    The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

    I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

    My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

    My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

    Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

    Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

    The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

    Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

    My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

    Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

    In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

    So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

    The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,

    But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

    Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the

    Sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow

    My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

    And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

    Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

    A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

    A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

    Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

    Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

    Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

    "What are you doing?" I asked without fear,

    "Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

    Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

    You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

    For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

    Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

    To the window that danced with a warm fire's light

    Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, 

    I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

    "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,

    That separates you from the darkest of times.

    No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

    I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

    My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"

    Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

    My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',

    And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

    I've not seen my own son in more than a while,

    But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

    Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

    The red, white, and blue... An American flag.

    I can live through the cold and the being alone,

    Away from my family, my house and my home.

    I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

    I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

    I can carry the weight of killing another,

    Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

    Who stand at the front against any and all,

    To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

    "So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,

    Your family is waiting and I'll be all right"

    "But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

    "Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

    It seems all too little for all that you've done,

    For being away from your wife and your son."

    Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

    "Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

    To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,

    To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

    For when we come home, either standing or dead,

    To know you remember we fought and we bled.

    Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

    That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

    PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

    LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

    30th Naval Construction Regiment

    OIC, Logistics Cell One

    Al Taqqadum, Iraq.

    :icon_santa: :icon_santa: :icon_santa: :icon_santa:

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