Semper Fi

Jerry M. Wilson USMC

Pap the Marine

Every time I visit the VA Hospital in Otteen, I am amazed by the incredible staff. The hospital was built around 1922 and has served veterans ever since. The hospital utilizes cutting edge technology and has a staff that works non stop for the patients.

There is a sense of camaraderie at the VA among the patients and the staff that makes the institution so much more than a hospital. When Pap talks to a Marine-he gives a firm “Semper Fi” and always receives one in return. If Pap is talking to someone who served in a different military division there is usually some good natured teasing.

During Pap’s recent stay at the VA one of his docs in the ICU was a Navy Coreman. Navy Coremen serve in the medic position for the Marine Corps who don’t have medics. Pap got to share with the Doc how a Navy Coreman saved his life when he was stationed in South America and contracted Malaria. The Coreman got Pap on a Naval Aircraft Carrier where he could get the treatment he needed.

Growing up Pap stressed the importance of respecting and honoring those who stand guard so we don’t have too. After I visit the VA, I am always left thinking of the brave who have served in the past and those who now stand at attention somewhere away from their family-so that I can be who I am and do what I do.

I have added a couple of new songs by Paul and Pap on the player. I would like to send the first one “Fallen Soldier” out to the VA Hospital at Otteen. To each and every staff member for the wonderful job they do taking care of veterans-including Pap.


p.s. I am still collecting tips for the garden-hope you are too.

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  • Reply
    Charles Ronald Perry, Sr
    May 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Tipper, as a Marine (there is no such thing as an ex-Marine..once a Marine, always a Marine. Someone once said, you can always tell a Marine, but you can’t tell them much) I notice that you used the work Navy Coreman. That is the way it is pronounced, however, the word is Corpsman. The President recently prounced it corpse man twice in a ceremony and received a lot of grief. As a Marine, we had nothing but the highest regard for the Corpsmen who served alongside our units. They were a big part of our team and entitled, in our minds, to wear the Eagle,Globe and Anchor.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Dad was a Marine.
    I am a former Marine (1969-72).
    And my nephew is a Marine serving with the 4th in Afganistan.
    SEMPER FI!!!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I hear you. It’s humbling. I am grateful I have never had to wear a uniform. I am grateful so many have and do.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 10, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Tipper I agree with you, the VA Hospital in Oteen North Carolina has some great folks! They took care of my husband for quite a few years before he died. If I could sing, I would sing their praises. It is just as well that you let Paul sing for them.
    It is great that Pap is home and doing well and just in time for spring planting.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I just hooked my speakers back up after they had been “borrowed” by my 15 year old son. So enjoying the music! Thank you to your Pap for being a serviceman to our country as was my Dad and Father-in-Law and now our two oldest sons.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    So many of our veterans do not get the care and respect they deserve. Thank God for the folks at the VA.
    And, I have to say, your Pap is stunning. Wow, he is handsome!

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    April 6, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Tell your Pap a big “Thank you” for his service to our country! The Fallen Soldier song is beautiful.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Pap sounds like quite a guy. Aside from his obvious good moral character, he was drop-dead gorgeous, movie star handsome in that uniform. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stacy A
    April 5, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Those songs are beautiful! I have been thinking a lot about veterans lately, the price they pay, even after their service. The trauma and terror they endure so the rest of us don’t have to. My grandpa was in Okinawa, on Sugarloaf Hill. He could never talk about it, and died young without closure for himself or his family. The older I get the more respect I have for those in the service. It is so good your Pap has a place to go where he can be respected and given the best care. They all deserve that! So glad he is doing better, give him my love. Love Stacy

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