CorpsStories 3rd Annual
Memorial Day 2005
Sometimes a Marine comes along with the sole
purpose of delivering you. That Marine for me
and mine was Uncle Dave.
Because my childhood home was so askew, my
self-perception was somewhere in the dregs in my early years. I remember thinking that he and his wife, Aunt
Betty to me, were cool beyond belief. He was
a Marine fighter pilot at the time, and recently back from a fellowship at Princeton. She
was tall and beautiful and very unassuming.
Forward twenty years. My literal connection to them, my mother, had died
a few years earlier and all the horrors she kept from her loved ones were now
exposed. I knew so long what it was to go
without love in my life that I had no expectation of that starvation changing - but it was
Finding myself seeking shelter after the last
straw in an abusive marriage, Uncle Dave landed his F4J right in the middle of my life. He himself was lawyers, guns and money and
totally lined up on any comer. Aunt Betty was
operating base rear, praying and calling and keeping me in the light. Suddenly,
unexpectedly, they were repaying a loyalty to my mother and her family by advocating and
loving little Allen and me.
It took some getting used to. I wasn't used to having someone help me just
because I needed help. I wasn't used to
someone not judging me but expecting me to walk the high moral ground, and helping me to
do so. It was nothing for him to hop a flight
from San Diego to Boston just because my matters had taken a turn for the worse and I
We talked daily. Sometimes hourly. He was right in the trench with me when the court
was sparking or the bills were mounting or Allen was hurting. This was the case for more than 10 years.
Ten years ended six weeks ago.
The last few weeks he was just a whisper on the
phone. Decades of emphysema won over a case
of pneumonia. We talked Thursday. Saturday he
was unresponsive. Friday he was with Jesus.
The void Allen and I have is really
indescribable. David J. Eden was the first
Marine ever I knew. He will always be the
finest Marine ever I knew.