Monday, February 22, 2010

Excperts from a letter

Excerpt of a letter from Mark to his grandfather, Jim Garvey (old Army veteran).

“While I was there in Al Asad, I sat and had chow w/ an 82nd Airborne Sgt. Major. When we discussed where we were from and a little about our family, he mentioned that his father was a Marine in Vietnam. I told him that you (speaking about his Grandfather) were in the 82nd. He gave me this patch from his right shoulder. He said he had worn it in both of his tours in Iraq and one to Afghanistan. He apologized that it was a little ragged. We laughed about it having character.”

What is character and how does something earn it? It's earned by the blood, the sweat and the toil put into it wearing it, earning it or simply having it. Above in the center is the patch from that Army Sgt. Major flanking each side are the coins Mark received while on his latest tour over there. On the left is the 2d Intel Bn Birthday Ball coin (obviously Mark was unable to attend this year's ball due to his deployment, good ole' Sgt. G picked it up for him). But I believe down the road it will remind him of a time spent away from his family and friends serving his country allowing his fellow Marines to celebrate another birthday of the Corps. On the right is the EPIC Multi National Forces-West coin, Mark can't (or won't) tell me in detail what it means but it's pretty important to him, and that's okay. I probably don't want to know about everything that happens when he's away.

When I think about these two men sitting at a table talking, I visualize old salty war vets crankin' out the war stories, and it brings a smile to my face. I may not ever know what all happened on his many deployments and adventures in the Marine Corps but I pray I never grow old and weary from hearing them. For these stories, these tales refined him, carved him and molded him into the man I love today, the same man I loved 17 years ago and the same man I will love for another 70 years. I long to grow old and hear of stories "back in my day..." and have a house full of things with character.

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