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CODY EDGERTON: My poker game (Timmy) is back!

I have mentioned my brother-in-law going into the Marines before and this past weekend we really got to hang out and spend some time together. We first went to dinner with the family in Beaumont and it was a real good time. I think the best part was when Pop made a toast in Timmy’s honor. He spoke of how proud we all are of him and his accomplishments and it couldn’t be more true.

When Pop finished speaking not only were member of our family clapping and looking at Timmy with enormous pride but the whole restaurant was doing the same. I felt so proud, like my chest was going to explode. He has come so far and I can only imagine what an outstanding Marine he will become.

After dinner we headed back to Grandma’s house, though it wasn’t necessarily over the river and through the woods, it was more like over the highway and through PA. Once we got there the table was cleared and chips began to be counted.

It seemed the customary poker game was quickly taking shape. There we were taking our places at the table and just as I had said before, there right by my side was Timmy. The only difference was that he was now a Marine, a real true to life defender of freedom. I’m proud every time I think about it. He is still good ol’ Timmy but now he’s a sort of Super-Timma.

The chips were in order and the cards properly shuffled, the first card hit the tabletop and so it came full circle. Like he was never gone, like he hadn’t been on long marches with next to no sleep, just like he hadn’t been gone for all that time. It was so awesome to have things back to normal.

And as strange as it was I couldn’t help but think why it was that we are able to eat at a restaurant or why we can come home and play some poker. It is because of people just like Timmy, men and women who are willing to spend time away from family and friends, to venture into a dangerous world full of vile individuals that seek to do them harm, to risk their lives so that we can take them for granted.

As I sat there trying to just relax with him I couldn’t help but think back to dinner when people at the restaurant, complete strangers, showed so much pride and respect by clapping and taking that moment to let Timmy know how much he means to not only family but our country.

I heard him say on the trip home from bootcamp someone stopped him to thank him for his service and I can’t imagine how awesome that must be. To actually be told that someone appreciates what you are doing and not just a passing, “Hey, thanks for doing stuff.” People need to be more open to stepping up to a stranger and thanking them for risking all and giving up so much just so this country can have the right to argue amongst itself and we can do all the things that our rights afford us.

To put it simply, I am enjoying having him back for his leave and I’m going to hate to see him go. I do take solace in the knowledge that he is going to Pensacola and will begin training to be an aviation mechanic. At least now he won’t have to be going through the rigors of bootcamp and when he has downtime he will actually be able to call us or relax a little bit.

I guess all of this can best be summed up  by saying one word that is so much more to the proud Marine… Oorah!

Cody Edgerton in a copy editor with the Port Arthur News. He can be reached at cedgerton@panew.com