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 Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4

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lmm
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PostSubject: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:49 am

_An email from a good friend of mine. It lifted my spirits after a few teary eyes, so that's why it's in spiritual. Enjoy.____

Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4


Cemetery Watchman



I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's. 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, a '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 slowly 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 like hell 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 it to Smokey's in time.

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 thirty 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 flowers 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 at attention next to the gatepost. 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.'

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.
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Ubu
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PostSubject: Re: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:59 am

Eagle
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Joy
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PostSubject: Re: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:03 am

Sad

Thanks, lmm. Much love to those who serve and their families. I love you
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PostSubject: Re: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:46 am

Wow....such sacrifice...sigh. My hope is that some day no one will have to visit loved ones who have been killed in wars....what an amazing story and thanks for sharing it.
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lmm
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PostSubject: Re: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:38 pm

Synch, I would like that same wish. Unfortunately, homosapien is a greedy, selfish, lust filled beast that in large mass is never satisfied.

Maybe one day in the future, we'll do like Star Trek did and fight wars with computers.
alien
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PostSubject: Re: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:50 pm

Ohh, but remember in that episode the ones who were marked "killed" by the computers had to report to a death chamber and they never stopped the war becaue it became sterile and easier. (can you tell I am a total Trekkie? Giggle ) If we did that we would never stop killing people. Looks as if we aren't going to now, either Sad
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lmm
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PostSubject: Re: Subject: SEMPER FI....TIMES 4   Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:24 am

That is true. They made war 'clean' and 'sterile' and eliminated the destruction to property and innocent bystanders.

War without famine, tent camps, and polluted water. A utopia for the war hawks.

affraid
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