Monday, November 12, 2007

Marine Corps Birthday Ball

I will start my entry onto this blog with a totally humbling experience. My wife, son and I attended the 232nd Marine Corps Birthday Ball this past Saturday. We met past, present and a future Marine at the Ball. It was a memorable occasion. The support shown to us by the attendees was enormous.

My son, Justin and another Iraq veteran seemed to be the center of attention. It is this "other" Marine I would like to speak about. Anthony is a Marine Sgt who served with 3/25 in a deployment to Haditha. His unit served in theater prior to the arrival of Justin's unit 3/1 in September, 2005. Anthony was injured in an IED blast and was transported back to the states. In the months after his injuries, Anthony has undergone 19 surgeries to repair his lower torso. He cannot go through airport metal detectors without setting off the scanners due to the remaining shrapnel in his body. Anthony went through months of rehabilitation and is able to move around without the help of exterior devices. He still has multiple surgies ahead of him to remove the remaining shrapel and to replace a disk in his back. Through all the pain and suffering he had to endure, he still had that look in his eyes and a determination chiseled on his face. Anthony is a proud Marine, he is an American hero. In our hour long conversation he showed no signs of bitterness, just a strong will to serve his country and defend our freedoms. These words will remain with me forever- The only thing he regrets is he will no longer be able to join his Marine comrades in their next deployment.

Darryl R Sharratt