Theodore's World: Semper Fi Join Me In Project Valour-IT ~ Marine Team!

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November 08, 2009

Semper Fi Join Me In Project Valour-IT ~ Marine Team!

By Cordell Keith Haugen

He was sitting on a park bench, hunched and looking low. It was hard to imagine how he'd looked so long ago. His beard was long and shaggy now; his sparse hair white as snow but his steel gray eyes were piercing and I turned away to go.

He looked lonely and forgotten and maybe homeless too. Like life had dealt him a bad hand maybe quite a few. He was probably abandoned by those who didn't care I wondered what had happened. What drove him to despair.

He said, "Son, I'm a Leatherneck, of wars before your time." His eyes grew still more piercing as he looked deep into mine. "Your uniform says you're a Devil Dog, the man I've waited for. And there's something I want to tell you -- things I've never said before."
The tattoos on his weathered arm read "Mom" and "Semper Fi." "Let's sing our hymn together, son, once more before I die." As we sang of Montezuma's halls and the shores of Tripoli, the old man stood straight and tall and he looked down at me.
"Bury me at Arlington; put an EGA upon my chest. Tell all the world I died for them that I was one of the best. I was with the Fifth on Iwo and I fought in Korea too. During that ugly war in Vietnam, I stood proud, and cheered for you.
"Get me a straight edge razor, lad and give me a good clean shave. I want to look my very best as I go to my grave. Cut my hair; shine my boots; let me borrow your best blues. You have them back after I'm gone and all my medals too.
"I don't want no flowers, an American flag will do. My life was lived and given for the Red and White and Blue. Whisper 'Semper Fi' my boy, so loud that all will hear. Fire them rifles in the air; they're music to my ear."

As he told me his last wishes. I saw him standing tall. I could see the ribbons on his chest, in the dim light of the Mall. And as he closed his steel gray eyes, I thought about the Corps. He'd lived the life of a real Marine, who could ask for anything more?

"Whisper 'Semper Fi,' my lad," his voice lingered in my mind I thought about all my buddies, those I'd left behind. Today, I'd met a real Marine, a hero through and through.

Forgotten by his country, but not by me and you.

Project Valour-IT helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. Items supplied include:

*Voice-controlled Laptops – Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.

*Wii Video Game Systems – Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).

*Personal GPS – Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 8, 2009 04:48 AM


The Marines, the Marines,
Those blasted Gyrenes,
Those seagoing bellhops,
Those brass-buttoned queens,
Oh! They pat their own back
Write stories in reams,
All in the praise of themselves—
The U.S. Marines!
The Marines, the Marines,
Those publicity fiends,
They built all the forests,
Turned on all the streams,
Discontent with the earth,
They say Heaven’s scenes
Are guarded by—you guess! Right!
U.S. Marines!
The moon never beams,
Except when the Marines
Give it permission to turn on its gleams.
And the tide never rises, the wind never screams—
Unless authorized by the U.S. Marines
The Marines, the Marines,
In their khakis and greens,
Their pretty blue panties,
Red stripes down their seams.
They have thought all the thoughts,
Dreamed all the dreams
Singing, “The Song of Myself”—
The U.S. Marines.

—From “Gismo” a publication for all servicemen in the South Pacific, this pent-up irritation was let out in doggerel “believed to be by a sailor.” May 6, 1944.

Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you will be issued one.

—LtGen Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller when asked by a PFC for permission to marry.

Posted by: Mark at November 8, 2009 06:25 PM

Mark, thank you so much!!!!

And (giggle) I LOVE the quote too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 8, 2009 11:15 PM

Yeah, you Marines think you are hot shit because you are ahead of the ARMY in the Valour IT thingy. Watch your backs because the ARMY will blow you away with what they raise. Keep on keepin on, you Marine weenies, it ain't over yet.
"Never Forget Fort Hood Texas and 11/5/09"
"99.999% of TERRORISTS are MUSLIM!"

Posted by: Frankly Opinionated at November 9, 2009 06:37 AM