His hands have been used for war, for love, for making memories none could strip from his mind.
Fighting along side infantry Marines in Vietnam... training his hands for war, his M-14 rifle for caliber. "Every Marine is first and foremost a rifleman." ...the war has been won... he's going home.
He comes home to his wife, embracing his family with open arms, and rugged hands that have been worn by the battles of his time. She is pregnant, almost due... he will learn how to fight new battles once his baby girl is born.
But he is an officer, called away at a moments notice when needed. He's not there to fight every battle for his little girl, but he shows her how to fend for herself when mommy and daddy are not by her side.
With the hands that were once used for war, he uses to build a sand box, a doll house, and a playground for his "princess". "If life were always this easy.", he thinks to himself...
The years role by, and after 28 years in service to his country, and training countless Marines for battle, he retires as a Colonel. The hands that were once trained for expert rifle shooting, for hand to hand combat, and for leading Marines into weary battle zones, are now given a rest.
He doesn't stop his service to his country there... he goes on to serve his community as the commanding officer for a Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MC JROTC) unit at a local high school.
Nowadays, his hands are not used for war... but for instilling wisdom, character, integrity, and commitment in high school students who may one day, become part of the fighting forces of America.
This is my instructor, my mentor from earlier years, the USMC Colonel that has seen war at its worst, seen men die under his command, and still... he never gave up on me.
I owe alot to him...