Friday, April 20, 2012

a letter from a Marine


This all reminds me a quote from a WWI Belgium man who as a kid was liberated by the US Army. He came to America, became a famous architect and married into wealth. To thank the USA for all this he established a military museum and library in Santa Barbara, Ca. Asked about his special feelings for the military he said: “I still feel an obligation to the United States, especially to the military. That’s why I am behind the idea of a Museum to honor the soldiers who died. To be killed in a war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst. To be forgotten is the worst.” 

The Pierre Claeyssens Veteran’s Museum and Library Foundation is committed to carrying out the mission of building a world class destination Museum to carry on Pierre’s dreams that American military history will never become lost in the fog of time.

Don was a very good man, special to both Joe and me and I hope and trust Shane found some roots and peace from your hard work. You guys have done very well with this project. Thanks for caring enough to make the connections and remember our long ago friend. Thanks to you he will never have the worst thing happen to him, to be forgotten.

As combat veteran Marines, most of us have a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While it would be untruthful to say we think about our lost comrades every day, we do have some special days where we are a bit extra stressed/depressed. Those dates are the annual anniversary dates of battles where friends like Don were lost. For me the dates of April 30, July 21, August 21, December 9, 10 & 28, are firmly embedded in my brain. Every year I get these trigger dates to remember and reflect about the guys who were KIA on those days. Most of my reflections are about how they were as people and not just the method and manner of their deaths.

I have been so blessed to have survived and to be given another chance. I have a wonderful family and life. At least I now know that Don too has a wonderful son. Hopefully he will stay in touch with his other extended family, the guys from 2nd Platoon, Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines.

Semper fi and God Bless!

Ray Calhoun

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