Your Memorial Day message inspired me to share with you and the list the following message I send on Memorial Day
to those who served and know the pain........
To my Marine buddies, those who served and those who know the PAIN.
I was watching the movie "Taking Chance" and it took me back to a time very long ago.
If Memorial Day means anything to you, you owe it to yourself to watch the movie "Taking Chance".
It will rip your heart out, make you feel all mushy inside and make you appreciate and respect the honor bestowed upon our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
It is by far the movie that best reflects what Memorial Day stands for.
I don't know what it is about Memorial Day that makes me feel this way and makes me say the things I am about to
We were "Just Kids", in the summer of 1965, when we landed in Vietnam.
"Just Kids", most of us 18-19-20 years old, just barely out of High School, not yet old enough to drink but old enough to die for our country.
We never could quite understand that....if you are old enough to die for your country you should be old enough to drink.
With one year of advanced infantry training including jungle, desert, cold weather, hand to hand combat and raider (comando) training we were "gung ho" Marines, tough enough to chew nails....I mean we were Captain Tolleson's
Echo 2/7, the cream of the crop of the Marine Corps' Raider Battallion and ready to kick ass.
We were "Just Kids" eager to be Marines, eager to serve during a time of war, eager to be heroes.
That naive fantasy thinking can change mighty quick when the landing crafts hit the beach and the bullets start flying.
There is no glory in war, only misery...it is your worst nightmare.
Our first casualty was by friendly fire....the tragic part was that the bullet that caused our first casualty was fired by the casualties best friend.
In combat, reflex decisions have to be made in a split second and sometimes those decisions turn out not to be the right ones.
In my mind there is no greater honor than serving your country during a time of war and no greater sacrifice than a soldier paying the ultimate price while serving his country during a time of war.
Take Pat Tilman for instance....Pat was a professional football player who had fortune and fame, yet walked away from a $3.6 million contract to serve his country and paid the ultimate price.....ironically also by friendly fire.
But it does not matter, friendly fire, enemy fire, the results are always the same and Memorial Day is to honor all of our fallen heroes, for they served their country and paid the ultimate price.
If it was not for men like that, Obama might be our Prime Minister or our national language might be German and Memorial Day is to remind us of that and pay our respect to these fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy what we have today.
We did not consider ourself to be "Just Kids", but now that I am older and wiser I realize we WERE "Just Kids".
Nothing has really changed and many of our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are still "Just Kids"....not yet old enough to drink, but old enough to die for their country.
Think about that for a moment, on Memorial Day, and what that day stands for.
Sgt. USMC 1964-68
Gunner, Echo Co., 2nd Battallion, 7th Marines