Daily Life of a Marine Mom

A Piece of My Heart is home from Iraq


Friday, October 21, 2005

I believe it is a good time for a re-blog. Yes I am going to bring back one of my original blogs because my friends, there are sometimes when you just have to turn your backs (or talk to the hand, whichever you prefer).

Semper Fi and God bless us all.

I recently met with several other Marine Parents (mostly moms) in Chicago for Armed Forces Day on Navy Pier. It was a blessing and joy to meet these people that I have been conversing with on the messageboards at MarineParents.com since that fateful day last October when my youngest son, Eric, left for the Marine Corps. They are strong, uplifting and fun-loving people each and every one. We were running about Navy Pier like madwomen and men trying to see everything (okay ... the red white and blue tiaras some of us were wearing may have had something to do with that impression ), and I got the chance to meet Gold Star Parents by the names of Roy and Georgette.

The Marine families at the tent!

During our travels around the Navy Pier that day I was honored to spend a little time with and listen to the stories that Roy and Georgette had to tell about their wonderful son, Phil, who gave his life during duty as a Marine in 2003. You could tell how much they loved and admired their son everytime they talked about him. I don't know how I could ever handle a loss like they did and still show the joy that this couple seems to be infused with. They both have an inner peace lighting their faces when they tell stories of their fallen hero that I find enlightening and frightening at the same time. I know that Georgette told us that they still spend time putting together condolance books for other families that have lost a beloved Marine. To be able to look past your own pain and try to enhance the life of someone else living with the same pain is maybe the best medicine that they could have found from the way they both speak of the son they so admired that is now lost to them.

While we, as a group of about 20 or so, were visiting with the young Marines at the Marine Recruitment Tent set up near the Pier a war protestor approched the youngest member of our group, Allie, who is engaged to a wonderful Marine, and tried to hand her a rather graphically detailed flyer protesting the Military in Iraq. This may not have been the best idea on the protestor's part because of course Allie became upset and some shouting ensued between the Marine Moms and the war protestor.

Now I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy freedom of speech since this is one of the things that our Marines put their lives on the line for everyday they are deployed, but we should NOT blame our men and women in the service like certain groups that protest the current conflict overseas. Our Service men and women joined to protect everyone's rights. We should always support them save for the few and far between that actually make the Armed Forces look bad. There are always going to be a few bad eggs unfortunately.

Togetherness! Marine familes and our Marines!

In any case this situation could have turned bad, but God Bless little Georgette, she stepped up between the mothers and the protestor and told the Marine moms that he was not worth arguing with, that "he did not even exist". This tiny little Gold Star mother managed to get everyone to turn away from the protestor with a few words. Then glory behold ... everyone was facing the young Marines in the tent and in a clear, slightly wavering, but strong powerful voice Georgette starting singing 'God Bless America'. Everyone joined in and there we all were ... our backs to the war protestor facing the young Marines with our arms entertwined and singing about our land of the free and brave. Facing while we were singing, what most of us consider our Heros, the young Marines stationed at the recruit tent. Of course more than half of us had tears running freely down our cheeks by this time. I still get goosebumps and tears just thinking about it. I have to say that may have been close to being one of the most enlightening, moving moments of my life. I want to thank Georgette for being the wonderful woman she is, and thank all of the other parents for being there when I need to talk. I love you all.

A Marine talking politely to the protester. Back left.

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