In December of 2004 I left my pregnant wife and two-year-old daughter behind to deploy with the 15th MEU. We sailed from San Diego to Hawaii, and from Hawaii to Guam. As we laid anchor in Guam disaster struck. A Tsunami had washed over several coastal areas in South East Asia. After a four-hour re-supply we made for Sumatra, Indonesia and southern Sri Lanka.
Imagery of the destruction came to us over the Internet; plans were formed on how we could help. Negotiations were made with the governments as to how many people we could send ashore.
I was running on the flight deck when I saw the first casualty of the tsunami. I felt a strange emotion come over me that I had not felt since a child. Empathy, compassion things the angry demon I was did not recognize. I felt for this victim, did he have family? Did he leave behind children? Was he Married?
For the first time in my life I recognized the First Noble Truth.
My part in the relief efforts were small.
Just a Marine in a line passing supplies.
But the effects of just being there will last a lifetime.
I became a human being.
Be well and happy