Thursday, November 10, 2005

Veterans Day Post, 2005

Last year I read a sobering remembrance written by seventy-six year old LtCol George Goodson, USMC retired. The recollection of this piece has stayed with me ever since. It is appropriate for Veterans Day.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major’s office. "Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Officer." The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, "Good to see you again, Colonel." I responded, "Hello Walt, how are you?" Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.

I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt’s stress was palpable. Finally, I said, "Walt, what’s the hell’s wrong?" He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, "George, you’re going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I’ve been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months. Now I come here to bury these kids. I’m putting my letter in. I can’t take it anymore." I said, "OK Walt. If that’s what you want, I’ll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps."

Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.

Don't skim this one.
The link will take you to "My First Notification." Scroll back a bit to the start of the post to read the background.

If you don't have time to read it slow and allow yourself to be there, don't waste your valuable time.

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