you are not into big flashy items like this.
things like special brightly colored car tags.
though i’ve never heard you say a word against them.
nor even this.
you do not wear a ball cap.
oh . . . every now and then maybe. but never often.
and never with this writing on it.
yet again . . .
you never say anything derogatory of those who do.
your own particular style . . .
if it could even be called a ‘style’ . . .
ah. yes . . . i can see you frowning from here !!!
let’s just say . . . you’re a bit more understated in your personal life.
make that a LOT more understated.
this is a beautiful image to you.
and more than just beautiful.
it truly means something to you.
something different than most of us will ever understand.
maybe this explains a little of it. i don’t know.
no. you are never into flashiness.
and you are actually a man of peace.
for instance . . . the war . . . in which you were drafted to go . . .
so long ago now . . . your young life totally interrupted by your country.
for political reasons that you had no part in. yet you carry no grudge.
you never talk of it.
but there is one thing that you DO wear.
and you wear it every day.
at least every single day that requires a belt.
the buckle that is shined as if it were for parade orders!
with this insignia.
it’s quite small.
it’s never ‘ in your face ‘ . . . but . . .
it’s definitely there . . . and with message well sent.
” i’m a marine.”
see it here . . . in the picture below ?
this was at the kids’ house on base at Christmas some years back.
not very many years back. i can’t remember exactly. can you?
but there’s that quiet buckle.
once a marine
always a marine.
i don’t know exactly what they do to you guys.
but it’s a brotherhood that is never left behind.
perhaps because it takes so much to get to . . . to simply deserve that name.
you were 18 when you became a marine
here you are
somewhere in viet nam.
and here you are as i write this . . .
this is where you are right now . . .
somewhere in the high mountains of colorado.
you’re helping to build a hiking trail in the collegiate peaks.
you’re about 10,000 feet up.
you’re 64 and a half years old
and you still look like that christmas picture of yourself above.
oh yes. you really do.
except your hair is all silver now.
that belt and that buckle are still the same.
and the same size.
the same quiet pride in always being a marine
you’re still the spitting image of yourself here in this picture of us.
except for the length of your hair . . .
and the color of your hair and mustache . . .
which are both silver now.
i . . . on the other hand . . . am not only silver . . .
i look NOTHING like myself in that picture of us above. NOTHING!
i have turned into someone else entirely ! LOLOL.
most all peanut readers probably know . . .
you are my younger brother by 3 and a half years.
yet you’ve towered over me for a very long time now.
and you’re still strong. and built like that 18 year old marine.
it’s amazing really. but it’s not by accident.
it comes by work and effort on your part.
you have always believed that exercise is the key to good health.
you have the discipline to keep yourself in shape.
and you do.
i do not!
and you still love me. know matter what.
no matter that i talk your arm off.
no matter that i’m a pushy old broad.
no matter that i worry out loud about your roaming the wilderness.
you just smile your quiet smile.
every once in awhile you drily say to me . . .
” do you hear yourself? “
you’re a modest quiet man.
and you do not like to have your picture taken.
and you would hate this post. i know you would.
would it hurt you to face the camera just once?
how i love you buddy.
my own marine.
oh how i’m missing you these days.
you’ve been on that dang mountain all month now.
you won’t be back til september.
and i miss you.
no cell phone signal.
just nothing but mountain air.
and . . .
for as long as i can remember . . .
this is what you have always preferred . . . .
i would walk into any wilderness with you and know that i would survive.
by nightfall we would have a shelter of some sort and food to eat.
it’s just the way you are.
some men like competitive sports. it was not for you.
give you lakes and mountains and streams.
give you the sound of animals and the sighing of wind in the trees.
and a place where you can actually see all the stars that shine at night.
i go to your house every few days. it’s still in the 90’s here of course.
i fill the birdbaths with fresh water and all the dishes of water you leave out
for the various wildlife that visit and drink there . . .
in your back yard . . . that looks more like a woodland forest !
jones . . . your favorite squirrel asked me the other day . . .
” when’s he comin’ back anyway? “
” pretty soon jones. pretty soon.”
but i can’t wait for you to come home.
back to civilization! and traffic! and pollution! and
eating lunches and dinners with
we need to have dinner again at our favorite place.
the one where we sit outside on the terrace
and you drink your guinness and i have my water with lemon . . .
and we solve the ENTIRE world situation! LOL.
i’m thankful for you my marine.
we share blood. and history. and memories of a family.
but more than that. you’re my forever best friend.
who just happens to also be a marine.
god speed you on that mountain.
come home safe.