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Old 12-14-2002, 07:35 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Author Unknown..........

I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's for a few cold ones. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go pulling my Reserve Duty Day at the Cemetery. Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever-- the heat and humidity at the same level -- too damned high. I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Deville, looked factory-new.
It pulled into the parking slot at a snail's pace.
An old woman got out so damned slow I thought she was paralyzed. She had a cane and a sheave of flowers, about four or five bunches as best I could tell.
I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter taste: "****! She's going to spend an hour, my damnedhip hurts like hell and I'm ready to get the hell out of here right, by-God, now!." But 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 the last half of happy hour.
I broke Post Attention. The 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 30 minutes after I began the watch. I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint.
"Ma'am, can 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 come.
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 bunches 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 handmade 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 the Vietnam 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 place 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; Stephan was my uncle; Stanley was 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.
And never have. She made her way to her car, slowly, and painfully. I waited for a polite distance to come between us and double-timed it over to Kevin waiting by the car. "Get to the out-gate quick, Kev. I have something I've got to do."
Kev 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. "Kev, stand to attention next to the gate post.
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 "Tehen Hut! Present Haaaarms!"
I have to hand it to Kev, 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 Marines 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.


Sempers,

Roger
__________________
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY HUSBAND
SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
1961-1977
68/69
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............

http://www.geocities.com/thedrifter001/
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2002, 06:28 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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PROUD TO SERVE....................................

This is a tribute to the late Mr. & Mrs. Guadalupe Fuentes and to honor and salute their sons who proudly served their Country.

Mr. & Mrs. Fuentes were the proud parents of 16 children, nine of which were boys. Mr. Fuentes instilled pride for our country in his sons and as a result, all nine served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Eight of the sons served in the Marine Corps and one son served in the Air Force. This is a rare accomplishment in any American family. So today, we would like to take the time on this Veterans Day to recognize the many years of service provided by the Fuentes brothers to our Nation.

The first Fuentes to join the Marine Corps was Mr. David Fuentes, the oldest brother. Seven of David?s brothers followed in his footsteps and they are: Ezequiel, Richard, Ismael, Rudolfo, Alfonso, Enrique, and last of the few and the proud was Marcos Fuentes. The second oldest brother, Israel Fuentes joined the Air Force.

Even though they worried constantly about their sons, Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes always encouraged them to follow their dreams, even if that meant their lives would be in jeopardy while proudly serving their country. The Fuentes brothers are no strangers to war time. During the Vietnam war two brothers served terms in Vietnam. Israel Fuentes served one term and was responsible for securing weapons on fighter aircraft, and Richard Fuentes served one and a half terms as a helicopter machine gunner.

As we stand here today, witnessing the terrorist attacks upon our home land we stand united as, once again, our Country sends our sons and daughters to foreign lands to protect the precious freedom that our forefathers fought and died for.

As we come together today, on this National Day of observance, let us recognize the pride of our Country in the Fuentes brother?s hearts and souls. Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes can be proud of what they instilled in their sons. For it is this commitment, dedication and pride that today, continues to provide freedom to all Americans!!


Sempers,

Roger
__________________
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY HUSBAND
SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
1961-1977
68/69
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............

http://www.geocities.com/thedrifter001/
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