From the Soldier Side: My oldest son had a birthday party the other night. It gives me a good feeling seeing that my kids have grown up and are doing well.
My son has a new neighbor who was just pulling into his driveway whilst we were having a good time. I Noticed 2 things on the neighbor's pick up truck right away. In the back window was a USMC sticker. His license plate had a Purple Heart on it. So, using my deductive reasoning and 30 years experience as a cop, I concluded he was a wounded Marine.
He came over and joined our party. He stuck me as being a very nice person....I can't call him a "kid" because he's done more in his short life than most will do in a long life. He and I began swapping war stories. He was in Iraq twice. His second tour was about the time I was there. We had visited some of the same places. I was trying to remember the one DVD of "South Park" that everybody had in Iraq at that time...but it was the only "South Park" DVD the PX seemed to ever have, so it was the only one I got to see...but I never got to see the whole thing. It seemed that every time my team and I got to a chopper pad, some private was playing the same DVD.
I couldn't remember how the episode went, but I saw the same parts about 7 times. I never saw the entire thing, or knew which season it was from...but it had me laughing every time I saw it.
Somebody asked the Marine how he was wounded...IED. Then they asked where he was hurt....I could tell, but some folks aren't so quick I guess. He started to pop out his left eye. It was a replacement.
What I didn't know was, that eye was hand painted to match his good eye.
I now have an entire new way of looking at how I'll support the arts....somebody had to be very good in art class in High School to be that good. It was perfect.
Then somebody had to ask if he was mad. He responded with: "Nope. I get a pension, medical, vocational training and my kids will get to go to college for free."
His only regret? He could no longer be a Marine. I told him he was wrong....He will always be a Marine.
He had better war stories than I did to.