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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    05.16.18 @ 11:48 AM
    Liked 1,240 Times in 454 Posts

    Default Father of fallen Marine attends homecoming

    CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (AP) -- John Prazynski stood in the sea of welcome home signs and wondered why he was there.

    Prazynski's son, Lance Cpl. Taylor Prazynski, wasn't going to be among the 900 Marines from the 3rd Battalion who arrived home Sunday. Taylor Prazynski, 20, was killed May 9 from an insurgent mortar shell.

    But his father had promised his son he would attend the homecoming, so he rode his Harley Davidson more than 650 miles from Hamilton, Ohio, to Camp Lejeune.

    "I don't have any sort of agenda. I guess I want to thank his brothers for being there for him, and thank his friends for being his friends," Prazynski said.

    The 900 Marines had spent seven months in Anbar Province, the most dangerous territory for U.S. troops in Iraq. It was there that the unit lost nine Marines, killed in action, and about 150 were wounded. That's odds of one in six of being wounded, one in 100 of being killed.

    As late as last week, Prazynski was thinking about staying home so as not to turn a happy occasion somber for the other Marines and their families. But Taylor Prazynski's company commander had called and told him that he should be there.

    So about 8:15 p.m. Sunday, when a cheer went up from the crowd and it surged forward, Prazynski hung back.

    "These Marines walking around, I've done a double-take three or four times," he said. "The build is the same ..."

    A woman whose son is in Lima Company ran up to him.

    "They're here," she said. "They're here."

    He followed her into the middle of the crowd where a half-dozen Marines were hugging family members. He waited, and then someone told the Marines who he was. One after another, they stepped forward to embrace him.

    "Your son lifted us," said Taylor Prazynski's squad leader, Sgt. Craig Corsi. "He was an awesome, awesome Marine."

    Prazynski's soft voice faded with emotion.

    "I appreciate you guys, and what you did."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
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    05.25.18 @ 02:41 AM
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    Damn, moving story V...thanks for sharing.

    Makes people like Cindy Sheehan, the douchebag in Texas, look like a total boob for what she is doing
    Last edited by Buschman; 08.15.05 at 07:22 AM.
    Rock the Red!!!

    "Give Doc the shotgun. They're less apt to get nervy if he's on the street howitzer."

    "Dying ain't much of a living, boy."

    Save a Terrapin - Fear a Turtle

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    05.16.18 @ 11:48 AM
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    Passing Over, Coming In

    In Nebraska, as India Company was at war in Fallujah, April Kielion was in a hospital. Shane Kielion, 23, was shot by a sniper 30 minutes before his wife gave birth to their child via an emergency Caesarean section. The baby's name was Shane Kielion Jr.

    “He came out just screaming," April said of her son.

    “It was the most amazing sound, you know, ever. And I remember, you know, laying on the table and telling the nurse, ‘OK … get the Red Cross message through. … My husband's over there. I don't care what you have to do — do it now,’” she said.

    But the Marine would never receive the message.

    “It’s pretty safe to say that, uh, Shane Kielion was passing over as his son was coming in,” said Lt. Col. Pat Malay, commander of the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, which includes India Company.

    Jubilant friends and family members anticipated Shane's call to inform him of his new baby boy.

    “We were just waiting for a phone call from Shane,” April said. ”Everyone, you know, is like, ’Has he called yet? Has he called yet?’” she said.

    After seeing Shane Jr. for the first time, Cindy Armstrong remembered: "I said, 'He looks just like Shane.' And he did. And he still does, to this day."

    "It was a very happy time," she said.

    But the joy was cut short when two Marines in uniform showed up at the hospital.

    That was when April Kielion’s father entered the room.

    “I said, ‘April, sit down,’” Don Armstrong said he told her. “And she goes, ‘Why, dad? What are you here for?’ And then she saw the Marines standing in the doorway, and she said, ‘No, dad. No.’”

    “It was tough," April said. "I mean, it's like, how can you have such a high and then such a low at the same time?”

    Cindy Armstrong described her daughter's words after first hearing the news: “'And I am a widow, at 23.'''

    After comforting their daughter, Cindy and Don Armstrong accompanied the Marines to Shane's parents' house.

    "Well, Pat [Shane Kielion's mother] opened up the door and looked at me and says: 'What are you doing here?' And then she kinda looked around and saw the, the men in uniforms, and collapsed on the floor," Don Armstrong said.

    Saying Goodbye

    “I had my son on Monday morning, and I went home Thursday afternoon," April Kielion said.

    Her husband’s body arrived at the mortuary the following Saturday.

    “I told my family and made it very clear that I will be the first one in that room,” she said. “I don't care if they have to lock the door for 12 hours. I don't care if there’s a hundred people out there. I don't care.

    "I will be the first one in that room. … I had made everybody wait outside. You know? And I just walked in, and I had the baby with me. And it’s just, I floated there.”

    April described the moments alone as she and Shane Jr. entered the room.

    “I put a picture in there of our son, with him. … I would give anything to be back at that moment because, you know, at that moment, it’s like I felt so close to him. But … it was tough,” she said. “I talked a lot.”,2933,165460,00.html
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton



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