A Case for Expansion
Don't cry. Write.
Right. Focus, that's all I need to finish this
incredibly heavier-by-the-day project. A permanently affected father. A
sorrowful, unassuming mother. Two forward-leaning mournful brothers. Marines with
Those Marines. Young men who have faced
the devil himself - and thousands of miles from Christendom at that. Photos have
taken me there, evidence of these beautiful, faith filled American sons in hell.
Yet I saw them in San Antonio. And Quantico. With haircuts and jeans or clean
uniforms and smiles - and light in their eyes.
To see them face to face, to touch them I sense history - and greatness. I've interviewed, talked, walked and eaten with
those who have proved they would die for me and for you.
They seem so ordinary from afar. They blend in with
any others walking through Q-town, or crossing an airport parking lot;
they become invisible.
If God were to inventory us all today He'd say
these are the greatest Americans who've ever lived - and I'll take judgment for
And they were brought together by their love for
LCpl. Lance Graham and his family. No acts by any others could say more about
the heart of LCpl. Graham.
All this reveals that
Graham was a fine man surrounded by unpretentious and loving family members - and loyal friends. I
believe he was extraordinary. I don't believe he was unique, as he was a
giant among giants.
However, should I decide to invest weeks of my
professional time, fall in love with eight men and a mom, to let my readers deeply
know a fallen Marine? Aren't all these outstanding news stories Corps Stories has
published enough to let the world how great he and others were?
Apparently not. Graham kept arriving on my radar,
like few other Marines killed in this war have. This expansion of one Marine's
story, this project, was a leading of the
Lord, He's revealed Himself through them - and I've rolled with it.
Should we get to know these people, who float in
and out of almost any American's life, maybe we could identify them as the earthly angels they
are. Not perfect, hardly. Some curse and spit and refer to bedroom
topics entirely too often.
Yet as I move along God's plan for my life, I hope
to have more and more friends like these - and someday function somewhere near
the selfless and courageous plane of life that they operate upon.
Meriwether Ball, President/CEO
Corps Stories, Inc.
I need to thank those who helped me finish this project. I received very
powerful support from my inner circle; particularly my mentor retired Marine
Lt.Col. John Monahan, whom I can assure my readers, is the impetus behind not
only this project but this publication, and from my closest friends including
Elaine and Debbie who've tolerated my repeated calls, my tears, my distraction
and my new adoration for those who comprise this story, I'm loving you. Also,
thank you to GySgt. Michael Brady for his valuable contribution to this story.
I don't normally publish such casual photos of myself as in this edit.
However I thought Lance would have liked this one. It was taken at a
touching moment during breakfast at Mama's restaurant. Joseph, Ryan,
Kyle, Stan and Aaron had been discussing faith in God and its role in their
About that time our young waitress said she had been overhearing our
conversation and wanted all to be careful in the future. Then Joe slid her a
bill, in replacement of his observation that she hadn't been tipped on her
last table. She broke into tears and ran to the restroom. When she returned,
she took a picture of the group with my camera.
Stan then went to her and put a Die Strong bracelet on her wrist, and
briefly told her his story. She said she'd never take the bracelet off.
The Gravity of LCpl. Lance Graham Launch Page