Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Truth

This past weekend, I attended the USMC Birthday Celebration Ball.
My brother-in-law, Maj. Darrel R. Robinson and my sister Barbara hosted me and a friend Kate for a weekend never to be forgotten.

The Ball is a full-blown event honoring the Marine Corp. all Marines, their Navy Medic Corp. and America. Pagentry, historic depictions of the USMC, honoring the fallen, welcoming the youngest Marine and saluting the oldest Marine.

For me, it was a night of goose bumps, chills, tears, laughter, and thanking as many Marines and Navy Medics for their bravery, honor and commitment to America.

Some had just returned from a tour of duty others were on their way to their first, second or third tours. We met one Marine, paralyzed from the chest down by sniper fire. He was no more than 30 years old. We met several Navy Medics, one who told a story of trying to save a life amidst sniper fire, only to lose him three days later from his injuries. Both received medals for their bravery and yet neither of them wanted to accept that they were deserving of any special treatment. They were only doing their job as a Marine or Navy Medic.

At some point in the evening, late into dancing, and well into the sleepy morning hours, we started talking. Real, truth talk.
One Navy Medic asked me, "Do you want to know the truth?".
Yes, I did.
He told me his truth, I told him mine, as a group we all shared ours, and we all experienced an unforgetable moment together; five strangers at the beginning of the evening, friends at the end.

The Truth- My way...

"I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special." -Steel Magnolias
  • You may learn more from strangers in one night than you will from friends and family in your entire relationship.
  • You may know someone for an instant and they can be gone in the next. Peace or War, no matter.
  • Soft quiet, even silence, speaks volumes.
  • We all face bravery in our lives; but some face bravery for ours, theirs and strangers lives.
  • Actions are the real indicator of purpose.
  • Words are sounds; not truth until acted upon.
  • Chance encounters will change your life, your perspective, your inner core.
  • Goodness is all around us.
  • Fear is not real; only when we believe we cannot overcome.
  • Fear can take your thirty minutes of something wonderful; never to be relived.
  • Youth nor age make you wiser, smarter or better; you do.
  • Reach out, smile, take action, overcome fear, make friends with strangers.
  • Listen.
  • Listen.
  • Listen.
  • Love your service men and women; even if you hate war.
  • Never give up the truth. Never stop living.
  • Do not live a lifetime of nothing special.
  • Have thirty minutes of wonderful! Do it everyday...
  • God Bless America!

Darrel and Barbara are the consumate hosts. We were treated like VIP and it was fun. My friend Kate stopped people in their tracks with her beauty, inner and outer. My gown was fabulous and I felt that way too. Kate and I were like Cinderellas at the Ball; yes there can be two Cinderellas. Midnight did not end the fantasy experience, it only got better; more fun.

5:00 am is late or early depending...we slept late; the Marines and Navy Medic Corp. reported for duty at 0800; ready to run and drill and learn how to protect us more, better, longer, and for always. None of us were in a hurry to say goodnight. We may never see any of the group again, by chance, by life, by war; but we are friends.

Sunday came too fast, we packed up and headed out. Darrel let me ride on the back of his Harley for half the trip to their house and Kate the other half. Now, that is 30 minutes of something special...pure joy, freedom, loud and silent together.

The Truth. It is just that...

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