I went aboard Parris Island in 1963. Now, in the ninties, I work in a chemical plant near Houston, Texas. Like most old Marines, I'm proud enough of it to display the red and gold 'SEMPER FI' bumper sticker in the back window of the old Ford pickup I am driving to work.

I was doing my paperwork in the plant office one morning when one of our new female engineers came in and remarked, "Fred, do you have a brother that lives in the Friendswood area (a neighborhood completely across Houston from where I live... )? I see him leaving in the mornings. He folds his ball-cap exactly the way you do, drives an old Ford pickup with that same American flag decal and that Semper Fi thingy in the back window....." I disgustedly thought to myself, " Is this little college girl so stupid that she thinks everybody in Texas wearing a baseball cap and driving an old Ford pickup with Semper Fi in the back window is my brother!!!?

Then, my mind went back to 1963, Parris Island, SSgt. R. P. Haskell, (me at a solid 200 pounds), and all the emphasis on, "And then, WE stepped off into Belleau Woods and earned the name of 'Devildog' from the Germans..... The Japanese called 'US' butchers....The enemy knows about YOU and who YOU are from the deeds of your brothers who went before.... Look at these men, this band of brothers and what they did each time they were called on, ..Now what will YOU do when it is your turn....?"

In the end, the old, fat chemical plant worker I have become smiled and said to the college girl, "Yeah, he's my brother, young lady! How'd he look? Well, I hope."

Semper Fi!