Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Memories "Cemetery Watchman"

President-elect Obama and Tammy Duckworth honour America's veterans at the Bronze Soldiers Memorial

As I look back on all of the family members that have served in the military, I realize how lucky I have been. Though many of them had close calls, they all managed to make it home, for which we are grateful. They all served their country with love and devotion.

Some have not been so lucky. They too served with love and devotion, giving their very lives, so that we could continue to live in freedom. Wives, girlfriends, Mothers, and children all made their sacrifice, just to name a few, as they lost the ones that they loved so dearly.

This Memorial Day I would like to share a story of sacrifice, where once more we get to see love win out in the end. This story was shared with me from my friend Roze Collins, who is a proud member of the Home Troop Connection, A place for supporting and connecting military families, both stateside or abroad.


I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go before the
cemetery gates are closed for the day. Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever--the heat and humidity at the same level--both too high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville,
looked factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace..
An old woman got out so slow I thought she was paralyzed; she had a
cane and a sheaf of flowers--about four or five bunches as best I could

I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly
bitter taste: 'She's going to spend an hour, and for this old soldier,
my hip hurts like hell and I'm ready to get out of here right now!' But
for this day, my duty was to assist anyone coming in.

Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along, we might make it to Smokey's in time.

I broke post attention. My hip made gritty noises when I took the first
step and the pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military
sight: middle-aged man with a small pot gut and half a limp, in marine
full-dress uniform, which had lost its razor crease about thirty
minutes after I began the watch at the cemetery.

I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint.
'Ma'am, may I assist you in any way?' She took long enough to answer.
'Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these days.'
'My pleasure, ma'am.' Well, it wasn't too much of a lie
She looked again. 'Marine, where were you stationed?'
' Vietnam, ma'am.. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71.'
She looked at me closer. 'Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine. I'll be as quick as I can.'

I lied a little bigger: 'No hurry, ma'am.'
She smiled and winked at me. 'Son, I'm 85-years-old and I can tell a lie from a long way off.. Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time.'
'Yes, ma 'am. At your service.'

She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one
of the flowers out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone. She
murmured something I couldn't quite make out.. The name on the marble
was Donald S. Davidson, USMC: France 1918.

She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section,
stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her
cheek. She put a bunch on a stone; the name was Stephen X.Davidson, USMC, 1943.

She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J. Wieserman, USMC, 1944.. She paused for a second. 'Two more, son, and we'll be done'
I almost didn't say anything, but, 'Yes, ma'am. Take your time.'

She looked confused.. 'Where's theVietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way.'
I pointed with my chin. 'That way, ma'am.'
'Oh!' she chuckled quietly. 'Son, me and old age ain't too friendly.'

She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones
before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman, USMC, 1968, and the last on Darrel Wieserman, USMC, 1970. She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out.

'OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home.'
Yes, ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?'
She paused. 'Yes, Donald Davidson was my father, Stephen was my uncle, Stanleywas my husband, Larry and Darrel were our sons. All killed in action, all marines.'

She stopped. Whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know. She made her way to her car, slowly and painfully.
I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over to Kevin, waiting by the car.
'Get to the 'Out' gate quick.. I have something I've got to do.'

Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him. He broke the
rules to get us there down the service road. We beat her. She hadn't
made it around the rotunda yet.

'Kevin, stand at attention next to the gatepost. Follow my lead.' I humped it across the drive to the other post.

When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short
straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice: 'TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!'

I have to hand it to Kevin; he never blinked an eye--full dress attention and a salute that would make his DI proud.
She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a
send-off she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for
knowing duty, honor and sacrifice.

I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.
Instead of 'The End,' just think of 'Taps. US Navy Band

As a final thought on my part, let me share a favorite prayer: 'Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home or
overseas. Hold them in your loving hands and protect them as they
protect us.'

Semper fi!!

Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before in our thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy.
'In God We Trust.'
Sorry about your monitor; it made mine blurry too!

If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under! You are requested to pass this on.

While this is all fresh in your mind I want to share something special, that was first introduced on television in 1969. By the end you will feel chills. I believe that it is important not to just remember who our fallen are, but also what it was the believed in and fought for. It is with this in mind that I want to share Red Skelton's Pledge Of Allegiance.

Home Troop Connection

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman Dead At 42

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman has passed away at Utah Valley Regional Medical Centre in Provo. He was only 42. His death follows an accident in his Utah home.

Gary Coleman was best known as a child star on "Different Strokes"

Gary initially went for treatment at a local hospital, following a bad fall at home. He was later transferred to the ICU at Utah Valley Regional, where additional tests could be run, and hopefully, adequate treatment given.

He remained conscious until Thursday, when he slipped into a coma, and was placed on life support. As of this morning, it was reported, that he was in critical condition. A hospital press release said that family members and close friends were at Coleman's side when life support was terminated, and Gary died at aprox. 12:05pm

For additional details, please check my sources

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