Today is Veteran’s Day, a day to remember soldiers young and old, man or woman, the brave and those that have fallen. Truly it should be an every day occurrence that you thank a soldier but today is their official day of recognition and to them I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. There are many names that come to mind when I think of those that have served that I personally know such as my grandpa, my forever hero my father, my cousin and many dear friends. For them I am forever grateful but it is on this day that I curiously wonder about one particular soldier…The Marine Prince.
This is going to age me, but it wasn’t all that long ago before Facebook was the place to be on or even existed there was the social network rage of MySpace. It was incredibly easy to go looking for new friends from all over the country and it wasn’t that odd to be friend requested by someone you knew nothing about.
It must have been 2003-2004 when I was at home one evening puzzled by a particular request that I had just received from a man out in California. Checking his profile there wasn’t much to see and I thought why would I want to accept you as my friend, so I asked. A simple message of ‘why do you want to be my friend’, opened a whole new friendship. He was a single Marine from California who was also an Engineer at a small company he worked at with his brother, and he was curious in meeting interesting people from all 50 states and so far I was the first one to ask this question of him. In my curious nature this sparked more questions and more questions and eventually we found ourselves rather enjoying daily chats back and forth. He had determined me his Radio Princess and him my Marine Prince.
He was a humble soldier who loved his family, his mom more than anything, and loved to protect his country and knew that he was to be shipped out again at anytime, he just didn’t know when. After a few months of corresponding back and forth we discovered that we were going to be in the same city at the same time, could it be that after all this time we were going to meet face to face?
As the days drew closer and the excitement built we had to have known it was too good to be true. He was called to duty and was to leave exactly one week before we were to meet. We knew that was the possibility so our fate was to not meet. He shipped out overseas and once and awhile I’d hear from him when he got internet to inform me he was still fighting and still alive.
I’d do my best to send off notes for him to read when he finally was able to sign on, notes of encouragement and thanks for his service. It became hard and the notes became fewer and fewer and concern had set in on whether he would return. The time in between chats had become a couple months or more. I grew to understand what it must have been like years ago when there was no communication but written letters and I have the utmost respect for the women who stood by their man and waited patiently for their soldier to come back home for good.
Eventually I went off MySpace for Facebook, it was the thing to do, but I hung onto the account in the hopes that maybe just maybe one day my Marine Prince would return to let me know he was okay. It was almost 2 years later and little hope left that I opened up my account one last time thinking it was time to close it once and for all and then there it was – Message titled: I’m okay.
I wish I could remember every word, but I can’t, I remember he had been in an area that had been bombed but he had survived, however he had been injured. He’d been in Germany for quite some time, where he told me a lot of soldiers are brought to recover and rehab and was currently doing just that. He was forever sorry that he had not written sooner, but he had been in deep depression after the accident. But he wanted to thank me for always believing in him and having words of encouragement for him, it was my words he said that had kept him going and let him know that he’d make it through this all. And said thank you my forever Radio Princess and I wept for my Marine Prince knowing that it would probably be the last time I’d ever hear from him.
I wrote one last letter said I’d moved to Facebook and to find me there, knowing full well he wouldn’t. He always told me that one day when I least expected it he’d follow my voice and find me. As a young girl I use to believe it but being a little older I know that’s a story made for the movies not real life. He helped change me, make me grateful for all that we have in our lives, especially our freedom. It’s brave men and women such as him that make it even possible to tell this story.
I end with this:
To my dear Marine Prince,
Where ever you are, whatever you are doing know that you still cross my mind now and again and I thank you for your bravery and your service today and every day. It’s soldiers like you that give me the hope and the ability to live out my dreams and a simple thank you will never be enough, but thank you.
Always & Forever –
Your Radio Princess