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Mike Regan

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Hi all,

This a bit off topic, but with the thought in mind that so many of us, even after forty years or so, still remain loyal to President John F. Kennedy and continue to ponder the events surrounding his assassination it occurred to me that the man, simply put, is missed. So I thought I'd share and post a story that came to mind some time back...

About five years ago, 3:00 AM or so on a Memorial Day, I found myself alone with thoughts of all the great guys I had served with while an infantryman with the 3rd Marines up around Vietnam's DMZ in '68... With special regard to those many who were lost in combat. And, yes, thoughts, too, of my parents (My father was a WW II Vet) who had passed on not so long ago...Depressing time, indeed...

Should also add that I was also quite tanked up on about my 2nd 6-pack of Guinness and found myself staring at an 'ole typewriter in the corner of the room. No computer in those days, so I pulled out the dusty ink cartridge, rammed a fresh one in place and, simply put, wrote whatever came to mind. As you can guess, I was in a bit of a stupor and the words flowed out as free as a new found breeze... Even found some humor in a bad situation... Dozed off about an hour later, eventually found my way to bed, and conked out. Not giving thought to whatever I had written...

Woke up at around noon, went out toward the kitchen to start up some much needed coffee. As I passed through the living room I spotted my wife sitting on my easy chair with the typewritten page she had taken out of the "Brother" in hand. Obviously, she had been crying... Big time... Suzy had lost her brother (And a good friend of mine), Gregg, during a fire-fight near the DMZ in March of '68 while serving with the 4th Marines and something, whatever it was in the writing, touched her about as deep as it gets. When she spotted me, she wiped some tears, got up and gave me one hell of a hug. Then I read what was written. And, as screwy as this sounds, we both cried and laughed for the next few minutes. For whatever this worth, we've both found some major solace in the outcome, no real thanks to me, but probably to the Guinness Brewery...

To make a long story a bit longer, thought I'd share that story. It's below... Hope you, and anyone else out their who has lost a loved one or friend, find some share of both hope and solace in the words. No doubt, some of you may think me quite the nut case... But, screw it, I sometimes wonder if a teenager named Christopher Columbus was a bit tanked up (Not sure if Guinness existed in those days) while he stared through a tele-scope, watched the 50 foot mast of a sailing ship slowly sink into the horizon and came to realize (True story) that something out there was curved. By Golly...! The World Is Round...! And, of course, the most respected intellects of the time hung up on their "world is flat" definition wrote him off. At least for awhile...

Anyway, the computer came into play a few years later and I shot off a copy to each and every faculty member of MIT (Massachusetts Institute Of Technology). No doubt, there's some screw-ball Irish Professor, dumpin' one brew after another, working out a solution even as you read... Enjoy

Keep The Faith,



"Keepin' The Faith"

The story regards a small group of Marines, haggard and tired from day's events, sitting at their jungle outpost as night approaches and attempting to find solace after the loss of friends in battle. Ceremony, designed to sooth, and which normally surrounds loss of those close to us is not to be. Mingling among family and friends at the wake, kind words from the preacher, the funeral procession to the cemetery for more kind words and capped off with roast turkey, drinks and even a bit of laughter as the pleasant memories take over. To be able to pay respect. In a proper way, to a friend. None of this was to be. Simply there one moment, with talk of the future and, of course, tales about the incredible babes back in "The World". And gone the next moment, with the unceremonious zipping of a body bag.

For reasons only an infantryman can fathom, the talk turns to the atom. It seems, according to one Marine, that every thing as we know it, the wind, the rain, the hub cap off a '55 Chevy, even those of us, are made up of different combinations of only eighty some odd atoms. Each with it's select number of electrons orbiting at various levels above a proton/neutron nucleus.

"Did ya' know?", he adds, "That the ratio of the nearest electron to it's nucleus is greater in distance as compared to the earth from the sun.". His friends are impressed. "Not only would you need a million atoms, piled on top of each other, to equal the thickness of a page, but to be able to compress the electrons into the nucleus would also mean that you could fit an entire sky-scraper into the eraser head of a pencil.". Now his friends are amazed.

A few moments of silence. "Kinda' makes you wonder about the guys.", another Marine suggests. "I mean, if all those millions of bucks were spent to split a single atom, are they really dead? Seems to me that those electrons are still goin' through a spin cycle."

Discussion continues, cigarettes are smoked in cupped hands and, bingo, ARE is founded. Atomic Recovery Employment systems. Until someone pointed out that ---- ------- would be ticked off if recovered with the head of a moose. A long moment of laughter, and they pondered some more.

To the scientist, there is the atom. To the theologian, there is spirit. To that young group of Marines, having found their solace, there is Comparable Atomic Recovery Employment systems. CARE.

Seeming to sum things up, one of the Marine's who has remained silent throughout, simply listening, finally speaks. "You guys are gonna' think me wacko on this one, but when I was a kid my family went on a cross-country trip and at one point I found myself in one of those rare moments in a large family. I was standing alone with my dad. We were at the very lip of the Grand Canyon, gazing at the incredible beauty, when he says to me, completely out of the blue, and we're not talking a religious fanatic here, "Ya' know, sport, I think this is what Christ had in mind when He said, probably in frustration, "The Kingdom of Heaven is here, now."

Heads nod, cigarettes are snuffed, and talk comes to an end as a Marine glances at his watch, stands with an M-16, and heads off to guard duty.

"Catch you guys later.", he concludes.

Semper Fi,

Mike Regan

Infantry Squad Leader

Hotel Company

2nd Battalion

3rd Regiment

3rd Marine Division

Vietnam's DMZ, '68/'69

Edited by Mike Regan
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