Military stories from past to present, both wars.

The little Angel from Hopkinton

November 12th, 2014 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

The Little Angel:

Once upon a time, many moons ago in a far distant quadrant of Texas, there was a young man.  This young man was living in a Bachelors Officers Quarters (like an apartment building) with about 100 of his favorite buddies while they were attended flight training in Corpus Christi.

Corpus was next to the ocean and you always had a constant sea breeze blowing across the expanse of the base bringing with it, the smell of the sea.  From our rooms, we could watch airplanes take off, knowing they would fly over the “Whataburger” followed by a left turn to proceed to the different working areas.  Our days were busy prepping for the next class or flight but then something entered my life.

It was December and the anticipation of going home for Christmas was infecting everyone.  One day, walking by the front desk to see if I had any mail, I noticed a box full of letters.  I asked the young clerk what these letters were all about.  He said that school children had written them and mailed them out for a school project and somehow they ended up here at our base in Texas.

These letters were from all over the place.  I figured that if a child took the time to write us, we should at least write back.  This was 1989, way before the wars and back when a letter addressed to Any Marine or Sailor would find its way into a box like I was looking at.

It was in the late afternoon and I grabbed 30 letters from various places.  Sitting in my plastic chair outside of my room with a beautiful sunset dropping down, I began to open and read these letters.  Some were pretty funny, written in clear concise thought patterns only a 7 to 8 year old could come up with like “Sorry you have to be away from home for Christmas, but it’s really cool you get to drop bombs on bad guys, hope you don’t die, Merry Christmas.”

I started writing back to these kids when my brothers in arms began shuffling by.  Of course the subject of the letters came up as I showed them the really funny ones.  Pretty soon, I was left with only five letters as the rest were picked up with promises of writing the owner back to thank them.

That started off a pen pal relationship with a young second grader from Hopkinton Mass named Mary Elizabeth who was about 8 years old at the time.  Hers was a simple card that said “Wishing you a bright and beautiful Christmas” with her homeroom in there and address.  I wrote her back and I’m sure that it surprised the heck out of her.

From 1989 to 1995 we wrote back and forth and I watched her grow from a young outgoing Elementary to a smart young 7th grader.  I even had the chance to meet her and her awesome parents in Washington DC one year.  We lost touch when I moved back from Okinawa Japan to the states and only just recently reconnected with her on Facebook after all these years. I’m so proud of that little girl who started supporting a Marine with cards and letters and can only hope my children follow in her footsteps.

I encourage you to get your kids involved supporting out troops with letters of support like Mary-Elizabeth gave me.  She posted a simple one liner on my timeline (Happy veteran’s day! Thank you for your service to our country!) And I know the heartfelt love that she feels for our Military still and makes me so proud to have served all these years.  She and many others like her (i.e. young kids, Jake and Emily) are the Americans who we defend and this outpouring of support makes it all worth it! Thank you again M-E and thanks to all who have supported me and our troops over the years.

Mary-Elizabeth, sorry to embarrass you, but you are an inspiration that I will pass on my children. God Bless and Semper Fi,


angel card