Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two Marines

I read this on line this morning.

The night before the burial of her husband 2nd Lt. James Cathey of the United States Marine Corps, killed in Iraq, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of “Cat”, and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. “I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it” she said. “I think that’s what he would have wanted”.

Yesterday I was walking into an unnamed big box store to get a prescription filled for $4. Standing at the entrance was a member of a local VFW. I was just going throw a buck into his jar and walk on but he gave me a shopping list of things the troops needed in Afghanistan. The list included bath soap, toilet paper, candy, Chap Stick, sun screen, tooth paste and other useful products. It also included Beanie Babies to set of roadside bombs, balloons to protect guns from sand and Silly String to locate bomb wires. Who knew?

I put the list in my back pocket and went to the pharmacy.

It was going to take about an hour to get my prescription filled so after I whined to the clerk about this I huffed off. I reached into my back pocket and pulled out the list and began to read it again. Before I knew it was wiping away a tear and I thought. “Forchristsake Flad you are standing here being a petulant little bastard while the men and women who make it possible to behave this way are in need some really basic things because the government and taxpayers who sent them to war cannot or will not provide them.” (I actually do talk to myself this way a lot)

I grabbed a basket and started to fill it up. As I left the store I handed the man about 5 bags of stuff. This tough old ex marine with a quiver in his voice blessed me, shook my hand and could not thank me enough. I usually take my sun glasses off when I speak to people but this time I left them on, I didn’t want him to see my tears.

Thank you Marine Thomas Hayden of VFW Post #294!

There was a phone number on the bottom of the shopping list 1-800-456-2322 in case you want to help out.

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