Friday, October 28, 2005

A Family Affair

Joey and myself at Camp Fallujah, Iraq

There is a consanguinity about being a Marine. My father was a Marine officer during WWII. My father's stories of his wartime experiences got into my veins. When my mother would cook something not to my brothers and my liking he wouldn't chide us that children were starving in China, no, he'd remind us how the 1st Marine Division, cut off from resupply, desperately survived on Japanese rations of fishheads and rice.( Somehow liver and lima beans didn't seem so bad, even if we did have to gag them down with gulps of milk.) He fought on Guadalcanal, and on New Britain, where he recieved the wounds that would take him out of the war. His unit back then was 2nd Battalion of the 7th Marine Regiment. My oldest nephew, 1st Lieutenant Richard J. Fay USMCR, is a Naval Academy graduate and my father's namesake. Joey, as we call him, was the only grandchild my father ever held prior to his death from cancer on October 4, 1981. During that last painful day my Mom asked him if he knew what day it was, and he did, October 4th, the day he joined the Marines in 1938. My nephew is here at Fallujah on his first tour in Iraq. Joey's unit is the very same his grandfather served in as a young 1st louie over 60 years ago. We've been able to get together a couple times. Our hometown newspaper, the Allentown Morning Call, printed a feature article about our first meeting over here. This December 1st I will be promoted to Warrant Officer, and I hope to have my nephew perform the promotion ceremony. The Marine Corps is very much a family affair for us Fays.

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