View Full Version : A Great Marine

05-05-08, 10:00 AM

Several years ago as the H & S Battalion Chaplain at MCB, Camp Lejeune, I visited the people in the different work spaces, including the rather large main post office. One day a little conversation took place with young Marine Lance Corporal. This unplanned encounter has remained with me, and it seems worth passing on...

The Lance Corporal was standing by a very large sack of mail. His job, every day, six days a week for many hours was to sort the mail from that large sack and place the letters into smaller sacks, depending upon their destination. He explained his job, and I asked him if he ever gets bored. "Chaplain," he said," this is all I do. Just sort all these endless piles of letters. Sometimes I can't take it anymore." I was drawn into the young Marine's lament and his life's drama started to sound interesting. He continued, "Then, just as it gets to be overwhelming, I'm holding a letter in my hand and I begin to think: Maybe this letter is going from a Marine wife in Jacksonville all the way to her husband on deployment in the Med. He's really misses her and is homesick on that big ship. Then he gets the letter and suddenly he feels much better. The next letter in my hand, I think: Maybe it's from a little boy to his Daddy in Somalia. He drew a picture with crayons to cheer his Dad and put it in the envelope. Each letter makes me wonder because this one may change a life for the better, or at least bring a smile to a lonely Marine or Sailor."

I was shaken by the majesty this young Lance Corporal displayed and said this to him: "Young man, you possess a wisdom rarely found in people who are triple your years. You have more than wisdom, though, you have character and maturity. Indeed you have found the secret to happiness in life. Whatever you wish to achieve, it will undoubtedly one day be yours...it would be a great honor if you would allow me to shake you hand..."

Whenever we face frustrating moments or disappointments in our work day, let's all remember that young Lance Corporal and follow his heroic and inspiring example!

"Give thy servant, therefore, an understanding heart."

King Solomon's prayer in First Kings

Chaplain Mitch Schranz