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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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FICTION* God Bless You, Sir!!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, November 11, 2003



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A Marine who is currently in the reserves writes about people's reaction towards him, especially since coming home from Afghanistan. (He was in the Marines for nearly a year; he went in shortly after America had been attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001.)

I feel honored (and proud) to have served my country, the United States of America.

I was a "jarhead", one of those "lean, green fightin' machines"..i.e., a U.S. Marine, for about a year; I enlisted in the United States Marines just after our country was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001; and I felt that it was my patriotic duty to defend our country; so this was why I went into the Marines.

When I went into the Marines, and after I got through basic training (boy, what a joy THAT was...NOT!), I was assigned to duty in Afghanistan; I was there for six months. While in Afghanistan, I saw (and heard) things that nobody should have ever seen (or witnessed): I saw several of my Marine buddies shot or even killed by members of the Taliban, and I saw many innocent Afghanis--men, women, even little children or babies--senselessly slaughtered at the hands of Taliban supporters. I still have reaccurring nightmares even now, and it is something I'd rather not talk about, thank you very much.

I managed to make it through the Marines RELATIVELY unscathed (THAT, I can be VERY grateful for; but I think the D.I. had it in for me; man, he was a motherf***er; he hated MY ass!), but after one year, my tour of duty was up, and I returned home to the United States of America. Man, you NEVER saw a happier Marine in all your life! When I stepped off that plane, back to the safety of my beloved wife and little son, and first set my weary Marine ass onto American soil, and then saw the smiling, tear-streaked face of my beloved wife and saw the laughing, smiling face of my baby boy, I knew I was FINALLY home, and soon, I was being lavished with hugs and kisses from my family, and I was never so glad to see them in my life!

I was never so glad to return back home to the United States; when I saw my family, and saw my son clutching a tiny American flag in his little hand, my vision blurred, especially when little Jubaki came running at me, at breakneck speed, running as fast as his little legs could possibly carry him. He was shouting, "DADDY! DADDY!" at the top of his little lungs, and he was laughing fit to kill. He then jumped into my arms, and he covered my face with his sloppy, wet kisses; and I started to cry in spite of myself. I then felt the gentle, loving touch of my wife, M'buti, and I took her into my arms; and we three stood there, in the middle of the airport, hugging and crying in spite of ourselves. We were finally back together, a family again, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life since returning home from the Marines!

Yeah, you read right: this strapping, young, handsome Marine, resplendant in his Marine garb, was standing in the middle of the Nashville Airport, blubbering his eyes out. I guessed I must have looked pretty dorky, but my little son, Jubaki, or my beautiful wife didn't care: Jubaki continued to laugh and wave his little American flag, and my wife held onto me and would NOT let go. She was crying, too. She was so happy to see me. And I was more than glad to see her: after looking at the ugly faces of my bunkmates or the Taliban dudes, man, all of a sudden, my wife was lookin' mighty fine! She never looked more beautiful than she did at that moment!

It was a moment I would never forget! And if I remember right, I distinctly remember thinking I heard people cheering and clapping; maybe they were, and maybe they weren't; but I was so glad to be home from my tour of duty; it was the longest damn six months of my life!

I still get positive reactions from people even now, even though I am only in the Marine Reserves. This is especially true if I am in my uniform (which still fits me today, by the way; I still keep fit and exercise regularly!): people will see me, and tears will fill their eyes, or they will get this look of gratitude or thanks on their faces; and they will come up to me and tell me, "Thank you." "Thank you for serving our country." "God bless you, kind sir!" or tell me how "sexy" I look in my Marine uniform. I try to keep a Marine's stoic attitude or try to be as polite as I possibly can and thank them for their kind wishes; but that last one cracks me up each and every time! I don't know what it is about a guy in a Marine uniform that drives the ladies crazy, but somehow, it does! And then, when I tell them I am married or have my wife and kid with me, then they always manage to look so disappointed!

All in all, my experience in the Marines has been a blessing, and I am still proud to have served my country and all that she stands for. I am glad to have had my time trying to defend her, and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could. I loved my time in the Marines (except when the D.I. was chewing my ass out again!), and I really felt that it tamed me. I was a wild, young Texas maverick raised in California, and being in the Marines forced me to do an awful lot of growing up, and now, I am no longer the same. I now care for people and no longer think of myself, and I have a deeper, more reverent respect for my country and all that she stands for; and I would defend her again if I got the chance! I am not as wild as I used to be, and I am a completely different person.

A note to y'all from Karen Lynn, the author of this story:

Although this story is fiction, I wanted to write it in honor of Veteran's Day, and I want to take the time now to wish each and every one of my veteran friends (and especially my twin sister, Karla, my older brother, Ken, and my daddy, Donald; and my uncles Steve and Joe!) a very happy and blessed Veteran's Day. Thank you ALL for serving America and fighting for our freedoms; and thank you for your time in the military. God be with each and every one of you; and God be with those people who have lost loved ones in the past or in recent weeks or even days. I am praying for all the veterans, and I love each and every one of you.

I am the daughter/sister/friend/cousin/niece to veterans, and so I feel it is my patriotic duty to remember our veterans, those still living, and those who have gone on to Glory; and I will ALWAYS remember your brave sacrifices and courage and will NEVER forget! God bless EACH and ALL of our veterans!

*~*~*~*~*~*A HEARTY SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS!!*~*~*~*~*~*


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Reviewed by Lee Garrett 9/16/2004
An enjoyable read. As a vet myself, I appreciate the sentiment, and the change in the general population's attitude toward vets since the vietnam days. Thanks.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 11/12/2003
(((karen)))

excellent write! and a salute to you and our veterans

(((HUGS))) and love,

karla. :)
Reviewed by Robert Montesino 11/12/2003
A beautiful tribute to all those who have served this great country of ours! God bless you too...
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 11/11/2003
Mosr excellent piece Karen!!

Love tinka
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 11/11/2003
Right on Karen, I reflect your sentiments for our vets...and pray that there will be no more war to have vets from...Peace, ED & Rufuz (w00f)
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 11/11/2003
Karen this is an excellent piece...
God Bless
~Michelle~

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