21 March, 2007

The Marine

I'm sitting outside with the children late this afternoon and notice something out of the corner of my eye...

A man of about 40 or so, a Marine in digital cammies, is standing about ten feet away from me: 6'6", feet spread wide and tree-trunk legs braced, hands on hips, leathery face squinting in the setting sun as he watches his child at play.

Wow. They really do make 'em like the recruiting posters! "Who are you here to pick up?"

He gestures toward his son, who notices him about that time. "Dad!"

5'5" and 120+ pounds of preteen boy comes loping over, launches himself into the air as he links his arms around dad's neck, then hangs on as he slides back to the ground.

Dad doesn't move, doesn't wince, doesn't shift his weight. Not even a muffled "Oooof!" Boy's feet return to earth and he releases his arms. Dad smiles, then turns loosely and effortlessly toward the door as he pats his son on the back. "Let's go."