Marine Couldn’t Wait To Leave Work. It’s worth taking a minute of your day and reading

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 overseas. 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

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