Oh No! Not The U.S. Air Force!


When A United States Marine Dies


Growing up I always was fascinated with the stories my uncle would tell all of us kids. He liked to talk about his time in the United States Marine Corps (USMC), his friends he made, the friends he lost, the places he visited, and his experiences. But, he wasn’t always a marine. Before he was a Marine he was part of a family which consisted of eight sons and eight daughters. He was the youngest boy, born 06 October 1932 in Mandan North Dakota. Coming from a family of Marines he knew early on he wanted to be a Marine and continue the legacy. He enlisted in the USMC on 08 October 1950 and was quickly carted off to fight in the Korean War where he completed multiple tours. In July 1953 with the end of the Korean war in sight he was cycled back to the United States he found himself stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Later in the year, 15 October 1953 he married his high school sweetheart and began his own family. Over the years they had nine children, five boys and four girls. In 1965 he was part of Rolling Thunder, the initial wave of soldiers being sent to Vietnam. He would do three tours in Vietnam, his last one in 1970 falling short since he was wounded in action. He returned home in the summer of 1970 and retired later in the year with 20 years of active service with the United States Marine Corps. At this time, my uncle, a retired USMC vet, decided to open a hardware/feed store where he grew up outside of Mandan. He would run the hardware shop for thirty years and finally decided that it was time to let his children carry on with it. The hardware store remains open today, some 42 years later.

In early June 2013 my uncle was diagnosed with a cancer I won’t try to pronounce or spell. by the time it was diagnosed it was spread to almost 60% of his body. He went into intense therapy to try and attempt to eradicate the cancer but it only put a little dent and then decided to continue to spread aggressively. On 09 October 2013 he was re-admitted to the hospital die to complications with his liver and kidneys which later in the week completely shut down. My mother, his last remaining sibling rushed to North Dakota to be by his side as everyone was fearing this would be his final trip to the hospital. He had recently, the week before, celebrated his 81st birthday a frail, sick, shell of the man he once was. Knowing he was going to die very soon he demanded to be let out of the hospital because he did not want to spend his 60th wedding anniversary in a hospital bed. On the morning of 15 October 2013 he was released into the care of his wife. Upon request, he was helped to get dressed in his finest Sunday suit for dinner in their one room apartment that evening, celebrating his wedding anniversary with the love of his life. In the wee hours of Wednesday, 16 October 2013 my uncle passed away.

His funeral will be this coming Monday, 21 October 2013. I was told that once a Marine, you are always a Marine, and you will die a Marine. His funeral will be a full on USMC service and burial. Many of his fellow Marines he served with over the years will attend to pay their respects as well as family and friends. When I spoke to my aunt this morning and my mother last night I was told that the one thing she is not looking forward to is being present the United States flag which will have been draped on the casket. She thinks the reality of his death will come to pass at that moment. She was very emotional. My mother has requested me to make my aunt a shadow box enclosure to house the flag and a variety of his Marine memorabilia she will be returning home with. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, as I am having to do now, I accepted the task. As I say farewell to my uncle Steven I am reminded what a remarkable son he was to his parents, how he cherished the very ground he wife walked upon, he was a great brother, and how he is a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was many things to many people, he was a man who was the picture of honor and reliability, luckily I knew him my entire life as uncle Steven.

And Now I Find Out He’s A Marine!

One of the guys I work with, we will just call him BS, also may be referred to as one of my work kids, always comes up with some whoppers on what he has done the weekend before. Now, before I begin let me give you some background on BS. I have known BS and his family since 2000, when BS was only 9 years old. My wife has worked side by side with his mom since then and I have worked off and on with his step dad over the years as well. In fact, I have worked for his step dad solid for the last four years. BS has worked here as well off and on for the last 4 years as well. He always has to work with his step dad because he can’t get and hold a job unless daddy is there to hold his hand on a daily basis. Tell you how bad off he has it. I consider BS a grown ass man. He is married which scares me because one day they will breed. But, eventhough he is employed fulltime, making $42K a year, his mommy pays his rent, pays his car payment, car insurance, and buys plenty of groceries every month. Why? In my opinion she just won’t cut the cord. BS is a skilled, a master even, habitual liar. I have always known this and out of respect to his parents and my wife I have always bit my tongue and looked away. I cannot be his friend because he, in my opinion, is a lazy piece of shit who has no control in his life and doesn’t care about anything but the lies he tells.

After working here for a few years our manager got tired of his bullshit and fired him. He spent about 14 months gone. Meanwhile our manager got fired and soon after BS was re-hired by daddy because he didn’t have a job and mommy and daddy were going broke. BS likes to tell tall tales. For some reason he does not think anybody knows any better. So, he has been back for a few months now and the other kids up here started asking him what he did while he wasn’t working here. He says he did a variety of things, anywhere from being a fireman, border patrol, race car driver, UFC fighter, and he became a United Stated Marine as well. When he started telling this story in particular my ears perked up like an old hound dog on the porch. He knew a few things or at least it sounded like he knew something for once. He talked for hours, he was getting frustrated because as he talked the others were asking for details and he would get his story all fucked up. I found myself laughing more than once during the story. Normally I walk away, ignore, and stay way out of it all because I am considered a family friend. Daddy does the same, just let’s him dig his hole deeper and deeper. But, on this day, he picked this day to drag me into the conversation. He told the guys that if they didn’t believe what he was saying as fact to just ask me since I spent a considerable amount of time in the Air Force. I don’t know how it related so I declined at first to give comment. After being nagged for a while I finally broke and gave in.

I told BS that he was full of shit and I would not be a part of his shit filled story because it is all one poorly told lie. BS said he could prove he was a Marine. So, I said to prove it. There are two ways I would have been convinced, show me a military i.d. card or show me your dog tags. Other than that leave me out of it. He went on to explain that he didn’t have either one on his person. I explained to him that if he was a Marine that he is forbidden from ever having either form of i.d. not on his person. BS continued with his cock and bull story and continued to get pissed off at me because I would not support his flagrant bullshit. Finally, I had enough. After he didn’t even know what or where he went to boot camp I was done with him. If he doesn’t know he spent a couple months at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego then there is more than just one problem for this poor dickhead. So, it continued until he actually pissed me off. I have a few friends with interesting jobs in and out of the military so I made a call to one of them and put them on the speaker so everyone could hear the conversation because I was going to settle this shit once and for all. Now the story evolved a bit, now he wasn’t active duty, he was Marine Corps Reserve so the same rules didn’t apply to him.

I started out the call with normal chit chat and then told my friend the reason I was calling was because I had a family friend who was in the Reserves and had misplaced his i.d. and all three sets of his dog tags. I gave him BS’s social security number, full name, and claimed rank. He checked 13 different data bases that covers ALL of the military personal ever to be in the military to include active, retired, dead, POW, MIA, and so forth. Guess what? BS was nowhere to be found. BS has never even applied to join any branch ever. Now this shit just got real. Now the kids here really started digging into him. I hung up with my friend and BS tells me it was all just crap and that guy wasn’t nobody and didn’t know shit about what he has done in his life or the Marines. Fair enough. I got onto my computer and went to a few database sites I have access to for background checks and so forth. Within a few minutes I was provided a shitload of information. I saw things I should not have seen. He had been in jail for 3 months for indecent exposure to a minor female. His parents were not aware of this and he quickly told me that I could never speak of it. I told BS fine, but it had already slipped that he spent time in jail so he quickly made up the story that he had beat the crap out of a police officer when he got pulled over for no reason and the cop was harassing him. The plot thickened from there. He got pissed and told me thank for not having his back. I told him that he did not want to involve me because I don’t play these fucking games with nobody. He hasn’t spoke to me in a few months now, in fact he is one of the quiet ones now, and he doesn’t really say anything in front of me because he knows I will slam the door on his bullshit.

There are a few things I have a hard time accepting, those are liars, posers, impostors, child molesters, thieves, cheaters, and outright and blatant bullshit. Anyway, I guess this one goes into the books in the category of “jail” in all intensive purposes of title-sake. I am very sure that this isn’t the last master tale to be crafted by BS and I am sure it won’t be the last lie he gets caught telling.