Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Marine Registry

When first opened to the public on November 10, 1999, the most popular feature was a database called the Marine Registry. It was a section of the website that was interactive and allowed Marines to enter as much of their service information as they wanted to. This database could then be searched to help Marines find buddies that they served with. Over the years the database grew to hold over 3,800 Marines in it.

In 2005, the server the site was hosted on was upgraded by the hosting company. The upgrade caused the database-driven Marine Registry to stop functioning. I intended to find the problem, fix it, and get the database running again. However, my other commitments have precluded me from doing that.

I was recently introduced to another Marine website that functions much like the Marine Registry did and even has some features that I had planned to add plus a few more. I registered on that site and immediately found over a dozen Marines that I had served with previously. Since I am not able to repair the Marine Registry and get it online again, I decided to pull all of the email addresses from the database and send an invitation to each of the Marines that registered here and let them know about this new site.

Over 2,800 invitations were sent out. Approximately 1,000 of the entries in the Marine Registry had declined to enter an email address. Some of the email addresses that were in the database may no longer be correct. To let those that did not receive the invitations know what happened, I am posting this message.

If you would like to register on the other site, please go to:

I will continue to post Marine-related information here as I am able.

Please note that the Marines Together We Served (MTWS) website is not owned or operated by me. If you have any technical difficulties or questions about that site, please contact the admin of the site, Major Wesley Prater, Ret.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed 'round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
Alone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.

It's my duty to stand at the front of the line
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ' Pearl ' on a day in December"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My Dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile".
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother,
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.
So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us".

-- Author unknown

Monday, December 17, 2007

Remember Beirut

On October 23rd, 1983
my father was taken
from my sister and me.

Early one morning
while all the men slept,
a truck with explosives
and terrorists crept.

We don't remember
because we were too small,
we know nothing about him,
no, nothing at all.

We got all the help
from the United States Gov.
but nothing replaces
your own father's love.

He died for our freedom,
thats all that I know.
But one things for sure,
he died a Hero!

I love my Dad,
although a love unseen,
I'm proud to be the daughter
of a U.S. Marine!

Sometimes I wonder
and sometimes I cry,
then I am touched
by the words "Semper Fi"

by Sarah Wherland
posted with permission of the author