Saturday, November 11, 2006


Marines my Marine

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His eyes are on those that harm

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His arms caress the peacekeeper

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His intelligence dictates his action

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His loyalty has no price

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His tenacity is unforgiving

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His compassion spreads to the enemy

Marines my Marine is keeping me safe
His return is anxiously awaited

By Red I. Swanson

This week, my friend Patricia shed tears when she told me that her seventeen year old son has enlisted in the Marine Corps and will go to basic training as soon as he graduates in May, 2007. She is heartbroken. This lead me to contemplate military service, appropriate timing of Veterans Day and elections that may help bring our troops home from a seemingly disastrous war in Iraq. My Dad, former 1st Sergeant M.O. Roberts, enlisted in the U.S.M.C. at the age of eighteen and served for twenty years. He was deployed to the Bay of Pigs during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later to China Beach, Vietnam in 1971. He was stationed at San Diego, CA, Monterrey, CA, Kaneohe, HI, Camp Lejuene, NC, Kadena AFB, Okinawa, and Camp Pendleton, CA. He also spent time in Maryland, South Carolina, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Morocco and probably other places he never told me about. My first ten years were spent as a Marine Brat...we traveled, we learned, we were patriotic. He took me to watch maneuvers and parades, to see tanks and helicopters up close, even to the mess and the NCO club. I am still proud of being the daughter of a Marine. I am always torn when people criticize the military and our country's involvement in foreign wars. He taught me about humility, respect, honor, justice, responsibility and service. He was the epitome of the adage, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." In our family, every day is Veterans Day. We lost him six years ago. There is a plaque on his grave commemorating his service to our country and a small American flag waves there. We remember him for the citizen and soldier he was and above all for the loving and proud father he was.


litwit said...

Oh, that's lovely. Cheers to you and your father.

jamie said...

The pictures made me cry. I can't believe he's already been gone six years. He was a wonderful father. BYE!

coccodrillo said...

I'm so sorry for your dad. I lost mine very recently, too. It's hard. My condolescenses.

Mary said...

Thanks for writing this. It was great!