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Old 06-22-2003, 10:36 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,601
Cool Finally time to trade the MREs for a little TLC

Article ran : 06/22/2003
Finally time to trade the MREs for a little TLC
Dear gang,

You're home. That's good, real good. Well, better than good. It's, well, fanhamalamadingdong-tastic is what it is. Your command thinks so. Your families think so. You think so.

After months of living dangerously, now's the time to celebrate - be a little delirious, ecstatic or stoked if you want. But above all else, be relieved. The giant "whew" most just heard is one collective sigh heaved by thousands of family members across too many generations to count. It's the sound of manic contentment.

That's how it should be when nobody's shooting at you anymore. And the nation agrees. I haven't polled everybody personally, mind you. But I'd bet that four out of five Americans, if asked, would say they're pleased beyond all reason that you Marines and sailors with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade are being reunited starting today with your wives and husbands and kids and moms and dads at Camp Lejeune and New River - especially after you've spent the past few months spitting out sand and MREs along the road to Baghdad.

And those were the good days, when sand and MREs were about the only complaints - the best days. There were a lot of worse days and more than a few worst days.

But still, the group you are a part of, the one that came to be known as "Task Force Tarawa," completed its task, the job America's foreign policy makers sent you to do, with aplomb. And you accomplished it even more quickly than, well most, expected - or more likely, dared to predict.

But it sure didn't feel quick, not here anyway. Probably not to you either. January, when you all left from the port in Wilmington, seems as if it happened a lifetime ago.

And in some ways, it did, at least for most of you. The changes you've undergone in just a few short months, well, even you might not notice them right away. And it might be years before you fully understand them.

But while your world changed, this one hasn't. It's largely how you left it, except, of course, that reality program "American Idol" crowned another winner before millions of Americans somehow hypnotized by TV.

And, of course, somebody else took home the big bucks on "Survivor." Somewhere in there Duke managed not to win the NCAA basketball title, Martha Stewart found out that she may in the future be making decorative planters in a federal prison facility and medical researchers discovered a link between athlete's foot, old reruns of "The Nanny" and high blood pressure.

Well, I made the last one up but it could have happened. Besides, medical researchers make that stuff up, too.

And around these parts it was even slower. This pretty much sums it up.

1. You guys left.

2. It started raining.

3. You guys got to Kuwait.

4. It rained harder.

5. The war started.

6. It poured like Niagara Falls.

7. The president came to visit.

8. Then it got really, really wet.

9. The war ended.

10. Richlands was closed to shellfishing due to excessive rainfall.

By the way, hope some of you are open to the possibilities of owning impromptu lakefront property.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, it was all of you who made the news here and everywhere else over the past few months - in triumph and tragedy. Almost anything else seems kind of puny by comparison. Actually is seems incredibly puny.

So bear with us as you readjust to life around these parts. It'll take some time for everybody to catch up to what you've been through.

Anyway, glad to have you're back in the neighborhood.

Just watch out for the new lake in your back yard.


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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