Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day

John and I were Sergeants together in the early 90s.  We were both going to the University of Colorado, earning our degrees.  John was an infantryman, a mortarman.  He came to CU from the 5th Marines, the most storied of all of our storied regiments.

John in Iraq.
John was a leader among leaders.  The force of his personality made him stand out.  His charm, humor and intelligence attracted everyone to him.  We all knew he would be a great officer.  The kind of officer all Marines deserve but so rarely get.

When John graduated he went back to the infantry.  He was eventually assigned back to his beloved 5th Marines.  While commanding C Company 1/5 in Ramadi Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor, proving our high opinion of him.

John was killed by an IED on June 16th, 2005, leaving behind a wife a son and a daughter.  John was honored one more time.  He was given one of the Corps' most prestigious awards, the Leftwich Trophy.  It is the only time this award has been awarded posthumously.

So enjoy the day off work.  Enjoy the barbecues.  Take delight in your friends and family.  But also take a few moments to remember the reason for the holiday and to give thanks for those who gave their all for us.

Our brotherhood is etched in stone
This unbeaten path we walk is never alone
And through the trails of terror
There is no obstacle we won't fear
Because we are unbroken
I would die for you
And you would give your life for me
The very sense of being.... free
Can we revisit the times of past
As if I wish they would never fade and always last
For no demon, real or in mind, could ever challenge the courage of brotherhood... tested in time
So maybe walk in the memory of those who forever hold the burden of our freedoms
And I 
promise to never let your memory die
because I'm free in it
And you are always with me

and never forgotten


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