Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Marines Have Landed

It was Tuesday, September 27, 2005 and Kathi and I were in Twenty nine Palms awaiting Christopher’s return from Iraq. We found out he would be in Kuwait on October 2nd, so we knew we would be seeing the Marines soon. Andrew Harris and Christopher were best friends and roommates for a good portion of their time in Twentynine Palms. Kathi found out Andrew’s family was in town, so we drove out to the base to meet them. Andrew and five other Marines that had deployed with him had arrived in town a week ahead of Christopher. We had a nice chat with Andrew’s family and it was really good to see Andrew again. He got to hold his daughter for the first time and I am glad we were there to see that.

The next day Kathi and I took a drive around the neighborhood. Since there is not a lot of entertainment in Twentynine Palms, we almost always drove further west on CA 62 through Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley, then off the high desert plateau into the Morongo Valley. We bypassed Desert Hot Springs and hit I-10 near North Palm Springs. This day we went a few miles further west on I-10 to the Morongo Casino. The buffet was mediocre and too expensive and we had no luck at all playing their slot machines. We lost our play money and headed back to our Alfa motorhome.

We spent most of the next week trying to stay cool and reading a lot. We finally heard from Christopher again on Tuesday, October 4th. He was finally in Kuwait. We were glad to hear from him and glad he was out of Iraq and in a safer country. Their plan was to arrive in 29 sometime on Thursday.

Kathi talked to AJ on Wednesday and he had an accident with a revolving door and had a black eye and a fractured hand. His vision impairment caused him to have some unusual accidents over the years. He sounded okay, but a fractured hand was a real pain in more ways than one.

Our Marine final arrived in 29 about 7 pm. We got to watch them as they marched into Victory Field where we and other parents and family members were awaiting them. Many families were unable to be there, so we and the other parents greeted several Marine buddies along with our own. We felt it was important for all of them to feel wanted and we certainly appreciated their service and especially how they took care of one another.

We waited a few hours for them to be dismissed from formation, get their gear squared away, take a shower and be ready to travel. We headed to Palm Springs with Christopher, Frankie Cauthorn and Jason Kepner. They had a great time playing Jason’s “system” on a video roulette machine. They all managed to stay even for several hours and occasionally won a large amount of money, compared to the size of their wagers.  It was a great evening of fun with the Marines.

Friday and Saturday, Frankie’s parents were in town and we had some enjoyable time together socializing with them and our Marines. We had some meal time and casino time and it was all so enjoyable, seemingly for all of us. There was a lot of elation having all their Marine friends safely back in the USA.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun time.So glad Christopher was here and safe will be glad when he is here in the states for good. Awfully proud of him. Mike would be, too. Of them all.
    So sorry about A.J's hand. Hope he heals quickly.
    Happy Trails !