Editorial: So Long For Now – The Loss of My Marine: David J. Eden


From the Editor


So Long For Now – The Loss of My Marine: David J. Eden


(back row, second from left)



CorpsStories 3rd Annual Editorial


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 about to.

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 needed backup.

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.