My Marine Corps Heroe

My Marine Corps Heroe

Peter Gasiewicz pointing to bricks enscribed with names of Marines

Dear SgtGrunt,

I love reading your newsletter and I wanted to write you about my two Marine Corps Heroes. My father.

First and foremost, I wanted to begin with how very lucky I am to be the daughter of a United States Marine. I know because my father is a Marine, he is one of the main reasons that I am who I am today. From an early age, I was taught to respect people and not to do wrong to others. I was also taught that if there is ever anyone who is need, to help them to the best of my ability, because that is what my dad would do. Especially if that person is a United States Marine.

But I have to say the best lessons Iearned from my Marine father were those of love and sacrafice. He taught me that family is the most important thing in the world, and the love for your family is like no other. Just like his love for the Corps, and his Marine brothers.

To this day, my father has sacraficed everything for me and my brother to ensure that we have happy, fullfilling lives and never have to worry about anything. He also sacraficed his life for my freedom, when he served in the Vietnam War.

I don’t think I fully understood my father’s love for his country or the Corps until September 11th, 2001. I also didn’t fully understand why freedom is not free, until that day as well. Being born in NY, and growing up in northern NJ, when the World Trade Centers were attacked, it really hit my entire family close to home. Literally. A close cousin of the family perished in the attacks as well. 3 days later, there I was. Standing and staring at the mangled, twisted, smouldering mess of the World Trade Centers with my father. It was the quietest moment I think I will ever experience, especially in Manhattan.

We were watching the firefighters going into and coming out of the wreckage and the only word that I could think of was “sad.” I couldn’t comprehend how many people had died right there, where were standing. And I couldn’t comprehend how almost every single one of those firefighters had men they were searching for, or how many men they had lost. Thier friends, thier fathers, their brothers. Each other. And then, it hit me. I looked over at my father, and he was crying. I knew then, that single moment took him back to his time and his suffering in Vietnam.

And then, he said something I will never forget as long as I live. He looked over at me, hugged me, looked back at the wreckage, the dirty and weeping fireman, and the space in the sky where the towers once stood and said “Look at what this horrible man did to our country. Just look at what he has done! If I could go back into the Marines right now and hunt him down, I would.” And I knew that he would have if he could. That moment was when I knew what it meant to be a Marine was. That he would run into the fire to protect me and my family, and the entire country AGAIN if he had to. No questions asked.

So for all of those who are lucky enough to know and love a United States Marine, I ask you to think about that defining moment when you understood what it means to be a Marine. And I ask that you say thank you to that Marine, every and any chance you get. Without their love and sacrafices, which they still make today, our lives could be much different.

Remember, Freedom is not free. And the people who run into the fire first, to defend that freedom, are our beloved Marines.

-Christa Gasiewicz

Proud Daughter of Peter Gasiewicz USMC
1st Bat 9th Marines

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