The newspaper carried a short obituary about a young Marine who died recently in the Middle East. It didn’t say where he died. Nor did it mention how he died. Just that he had been serving in a combat zone.
The article mentioned the town he came from and he had graduated from the local high school.
The same high school where he’d lettered in football and track. The coach said he was a good team player. He thought it might be a good idea to see if the town might consider naming the stadium after him. He thought he might have liked that.
It went on to mention how his Mother and Father talked about the future plans their young Marine had. How he wanted to go to the Community college and then on to university to get finish getting his degree. He was going to be the first one in the family to graduate from college.
His younger sister said she was going to miss him terribly. He had been her big brother and always looked after her. She talked about the day before he deployed when he borrowed the family van. Said he wanted to show off his Dress Blues to all his friends.
The notice went on to say there was going to be a service at the church he attended on Main St. starting at 10 A.M. In lieu of flowers the family asked that contributions be made to a scholarship fund being established in his name.
It was at this point I realized I had served with this young Marine. Not this particular Marine. But, Marines that were just like him. In fact, I think we all had served with him. You see he was that young man, like we all once had been, who stood ten feet tall when he was in uniform. You could see his pride of country and service every time he walked into a room. He knew whom he was and what he was being sent to accomplish when he deployed. And if you were to have asked him, he would have told you the same thing others before him would have said, “I’m fighting for freedom. Not just for our country. But for the people we’re being sent to defend.” For that, like so many before him, he had sacrificed his life.
The notice ended up saying he’d be laid to rest in the family plot following the ceremony. Everyone was invited to join the family at their home afterwards. My prayers will be with the family.
by Ed Creamer