Dear Fellow Crafters,
The following is a post from one of my contributors “G” from my journal blog. Hope you enjoy it! You can read more of his posts on uniquelyyourscraftjournal.com
LUNCH IN THE PARK
Not far from where I work is a pretty little park, set near a lake that was formally the reservoir. Driving by, I said for over a year, that on a nice day I should eat lunch there one day. Only recently I did. I invited Barbie (Joanie) my on again off again lunch partner to join me, but she wimped out.
What a shock I got! In this park is a beautiful concrete and bronze memorial to a WW2 Marine named Frank Wiltez. Maybe I should say MEDAL OF RECEIPIENT Marine. He received it for extremely heroic actions on Guam. It was, as we Marines say “JOHN WAYNE” stuff.
Of course I was overcome with respect for the site, and considered eating somewhere else. I swear to you I heard (in my head) a voice say “Sit down brother Marine. I’d enjoy the company.”
So I sat on a nearby bench and started my sandwich. I journeyed back. I imagined him sitting on a sand berm or in a foxhole eating. Then I remembered my days in Vietnam stopping to eat a hurried meal. Then my mind flashed to our troops in iraq, and about them doing the same thing.
Funny, sometimes the simple act of eating a small meal can take on such significance. You see, in combat, a meal means you’re alive. You made it from one period of day to another. The meal becomes a “respite in the horrors of hell” (Quote from Ernie Pile) It means you may refresh yourself before you return to the horrors of war.
I played out a conversation in my mind. (How it got there I don’t know)
RAY: FRANK, WHAT WAS IT LIKE ON GUAM?
FRANK: SAME AS IT WAS AT KHESHAN OR BAGHDAD.
RAY: WHERE YOU SCARED?
FRANK: WEREN’T YOU?
RAY: HOW DID YOU DIE?
FRANK: ASK ME WHY INSTEAD
RAY: WHY THEN.
FRANK: BECAUSE LIKE ALL MARINES WHO SERVE IN COMBAT I BELIEVE THAT IF NOTHING IS WORTH DYING FOR, THAN NOTHING IS WORTH LIVING FOR.
RAY: YOU KNOW FRANK, UP UNTIL 3 WEEKS AGO, I WONDERED IF THE YOUNG MARINES OF TODAY WOULD AGREE WITH US! BUT OF COURSE, THEY DO.
FRANK: YEAH, THOSE YOUNG LADS REALLY CAME THOUGH!
RAY: FOOD’S BETTER FOR THESE GUYS TODAY FRANK.
FRANK: YEAH, TELL ME ABOUT IT! HAD LUNCH WITH ONE OF THEM LAST WEEK. THIS BEING DEAD IS SOMETIMES COOL! YOU CAN GO WHEREVER YOU WANT INSTANLY. CHOW LOOKED REALLY GOOD OVER OUR OLD C-RATIONS.
RAY: AFFIRMATIVE ON THAT!
FRANK: WELL RAY, GOT TO GO. THIS CURRENT WAR ON EARTH HAS GOT MY MOM ALL UPSET. SHE’S COMPLAINING TO ST. FRANCIS ABOUT LACK OF PEACE. I’VE GOT TO CALM HER DOWN. BUT THANKS FOR COMING TO MY PARK TO VISIT! COME AGAIN!
RAY: YOU BET FRANK. AND IF YOU SEE MY MOM COULD YOU TELL HER THAT I’M TALKING / E-MAILING 2 MOMS OF LADS OVER THERE NOW, TELLING THEM NOT TO WORRY.
FRANK: FORGET IT! SHE ALREADY KNOWS! THE BOSS HIMSELF TOLD HER! NOW SHE’S WALKING AROUND WEARING THAT MARINE MOM PIN YOU GAVE HER, BORING THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYONE, SAYING: “HOW ‘BOUT THOSE MARINES! MY SON WAS ONE YOU KNOW!”
RAY: THANKS FRANK—- FOR EVERYTHING.
FRANK: SEMPER FI! SEE YOU LATER.