Forums / Off Topic / CEMETERY ESCORT DUTY

5 years 25 weeks ago, 11:05 PM

samD

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President
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Join Date:
Aug 2008
Location:
Green Valley, Free State of Arizona, United States
CEMETERY ESCORT DUTY

CEMETERY ESCORT DUTY
>
> 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 tell.
>
>
> 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 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 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, 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. 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.'
>
>
> 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.'
>
>
> 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 required to pass this on NOW!!!

5 years 25 weeks ago, 11:19 PM

runawaygun762

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Rank:
Vice President
Points:
8929
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Location:
Richland, MO, United States
Blurry monitor

It happens sometimes.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 25 weeks ago, 11:22 PM

zx12rmike

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Rank:
President Pro Temp
Points:
7870
Join Date:
Dec 2008
Location:
commiefornia, United States
Great story. thx

Great story. thx

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 25 weeks ago, 6:27 AM

countykeyman

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Rank:
Major
Points:
59
Join Date:
Jan 2009
Location:
Knoxville, Tn
I wonder

I only wonder, by his skipping the Heroes Ball, if president Obama really understands the price that was paid that allowed him to be elected as the 44th president of a free country? All so he and his liberal cronies can run this great country headlong into a socialist hell.

"Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician" - Jeff Cooper
5 years 25 weeks ago, 8:59 AM

Dr.angusmd21

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Rank:
Major General
Points:
465
Join Date:
Nov 2008
god i hate

blurry monitors. hoorah

2850 fps

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