My 19th Christmas was spent as a U.S. Marine in Iwakuni Japan. This was the first year I did not have the privilege of spending the holiday with my beloved family and friends. I knew that my purpose during this Christmas was to be on the ready for my country as many had done before me. I was a young, proud Marine and very honored to be serving my country as a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.
This however did not make the Christmas Day phone call to home in the middle of the night (local Japan time) any easier. My father answered my call and being an Army veteran gave me the encouragement and support that I really needed at the time. Then the conversation with my mother – one that will never be forgotten happened. My mom passed away a few years ago and that makes the Christmas conversation from 1976 an even more memorable event in my life. I will spare the readers of this post with not listing any of the sappy details of my conversation with my mother. But I will say that the conversation took place away from my fellow Marines (who were probably conducting similar calls on other phones in our Communication Center). I am sure that the other conversations did happen because quite a few of us were a little crackly voiced and had something in our eyes for a few hours during our shift that night. This is my thank you to my fellow Marines who will be doing (as I did in 1976) this Christmas Day. What you will be doing this Christmas is truly appreciated by myself and my fellow Marines who have had similar phone conversations on December 25th. Semper Fi and Merry Christmas. Corporal Joseph Wasowicz, USMC, 1975 -1978.
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