A Marine’s Journey- A story of thanks

Written by Susan Ratliff on November 24, 2011. Posted in Uncategorized

On this day of Thanksgiving and only a few weeks past Veterans Day please let me share this amazing story that is a great celebration of both.

This happened two weeks before Thanksgiving a few years ago, when my husband’s Mom was 84 and still working everyday (that’s another story). She was living by herself after Carey’s Dad, a Marine, had passed away on July 4th a year before.  Trudy came home from a busy day at work to find the arcadia door smashed in and the house ransacked by thieves. We are pretty sure she surprised the intruders when she opened the garage and believe they escaped out the back door. She called my husband who rushed over to comfort her and review the damage. Drawers were emptied, closets opened, jewelry and money gone. The house was a mess and glass was everywhere. The police were on their way.  After a thorough inventory they had another surprise. Dad was gone. The burglers actually stole the beautiful cremation urn that rested on the table in the living room. Its finely crafted shape and the blue velvet drawstring bag must have made it look very valuable. Unfortunatly the thieves did not realize the true value was in it’s beloved contents.  The next day I am at work telling this story to a
business associate who owns a Public Relations firm. She was shocked by the incredible details and the irony of the date. It was veterans Day.  She immediately had an idea for
getting the urn back. She made a few phone calls and in 20 minutes five TV stations were on the phone begging to speak to the victim, come to the house to view the scene, get a picture of the deceased or the urn or both. You know, a real media frenzy. No way would my husband or his Mom agree. Trudy was really scared at this point and did not want anyone to know how, why or where this happened. I certainly understood and wanted to protect her. I also knew that some media attention might help locate the urn.  We decided that I would tell the story. In the next hours two TV camera men and a reporter came to my business office. I wanted to stay anonymous so they filmed me in shadow and only used my first name. I repeated the story and described the urn with the funeral home’s address on the bottom, hoping for a good samaritan or a thief with a conscience. Luck was with us because a few hours later the funeral home called. Someone actually found Dad on the side of the road. How fitting that he left this world on the 4th of July and he returned to us on Veterans Day. Those Marines are

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