TED, Marine Corps, Daniel discussed on The M Zone
Setting. He went through second grade at Zeeland Christian School, and I asked him what what? What would have happened if you had stayed in a regular school setting? And he said, Mom, I would have been in juvenile detention before I was 14. And I believe him because he had so much energy. So much drive. And if you didn't channel that into something productive, he would make his own business and it wasn't always good. You guys grew up on it. He grew up on a farm hobby. Fire. Yeah, we have 10 acres and they raised four h animals. Um And he worked for a neighboring pig farmer. So I started working when he was 11th. Well on the farm. Yeah, he had, uh, There's a lot of stories about kids who grow up on farms and their work ethic. Yeah, when they're adults, he loved to work and he loved to work. And he was intense. But he was also, uh you don't think about this maybe special operations guys, but he also had a very tender side. Very tender side that would always look out for The underdog, and he would Protect like his sister. You know, they have great relationship with his sister, and he it was always Protecting her. Watching over her, and he's the oldest right here is the oldest. Yep, so there there's that protective side. I think that's just innate inside your DNA. Right? That's also part of what made him so angry with the World Trade Center attack Because there again it was the underdog. You know they were attacking civilians. In all the letters now that he's in the Marines in the back and forth letters, which is still how many people pen letters today we write emails. We text we call somebody we face time in this modern era we live in But there's still something intimate, beautiful and Memorable, nostalgic about a handwritten letter. What do you write to you back and forth when you guys were talking when they are in recruit training and Marine Corps. They do not have the opportunity to use tell we got two calls in 13 weeks. And that's it. They didn't have access to computers, telephones. Nothing. They take it all away. So, um, it was write letters are not communicate. I wrote a letter to him almost every day. And all he wanted to know about was what's happening at home. Just that every day, day to day stuff. He was painfully homesick. Um, just wanted to know. Uh and he wrote us. Maybe 33 times a week. I would gas And he just sent us what he's doing in training what things were concerning him. What things he was worried about as far as, um, different test that he would have to take or or do either physical or mental whatever. But he just He just wrote what he was doing. And as he got through training, and now you're entering the surreal world of combat. A lot of people will talk about that They notice a change or changes in someone's personality demeanor, communication. Did you see that from Daniel? Um, I would say he did change from what he was at home somewhat. He became more independent, especially throughout his first two deployments and his third deployment in 2000 and that, um, 2000 and seven He, um He went through some pretty intense combat and his attitude changed a little bit matured. Um He, um there was no glory and killing anymore. His first two deployments. He was pretty callous, Pretty young, immature. Just it was the adrenaline rush. Go in and do it and The third deployment kind of changed things he had gotten married. So he had a wife. Um, And so there were a lot of things that played into his maturing and just just growing just Becoming a little more grounded. I would say as far as, um His view of life and death. Did he talk to you about how combat was wearing on him? That the killing Carl between conversations you guys had whether it was calls or Emails or letters. Once he got past his training portion of his military career, he would. He talked me a few times about, um, like, Reuss said about that. About about the killing part because they don't send those guys to a calm area and you see a lot of combat and One of his, uh one big conversation that we had was. Well, we're Christians. And And, um He had a really hard time with, you know, it was the Muslims that that is fighting and he's in his, um, and he's killing them. And he says, You know, it's just a different viewpoint than what we as Christians had. And I said, You know, you just have to You. You have to know that there is not one person that dies. You're not. You're not sending someone here, someone there. It's God that's in charge of that. You're doing your job and your called By the government to do your job and he was doing his job. He was a very good at his job, and he loved his job. But he had some struggles there, but he got through that. And it was really, uh, an awesome thing as a dad. To see your son maturing. And Really becoming, Uh, Young man that Was really thinking about what he was doing and not just living willy nilly life. He had focused. He wasn't just gun Ho, and he's talked about got killed 40 guys this weekend, right? But that he was actually starting to have a conscience. Sweet. I don't think it out, right. We We did not He never any time he would ever tell us about the things that went on. It was never that gung ho. All that gunk whole thing. It was, uh, calm conversation about what his job was. And what was his job in the Marines. Killing people. He was a sniper. He was a sniper. Yeah. Uh, they they they would go out. Um, a lot of the times with 45 fiber. My man. Teams of snipers, not not just of snipers. Um, he was a sniper, but the other guys were, too but they would go out on missions and they would give them they gave him a mission to do. Um Sometimes it was reconnaissance. Sometimes it was going in to, um, take out some bad guys where they knew the bad guys were, and they they gave him a job to do, And they did their own mission. Planning five guys, right pretty much out on their own right. Drop them in either out of the sky or With a helicopter, you know, insertion in the middle of the night with their night vision goggles, and they would go in and and do their job. And they were and they all had each other's back, and they That's a tough job. It is the version the Marine version of the seals, Right, Right would be, you know, maybe Rangers in the Army, right? Green Rays, right? Hey, you know you haven't heard a lot about the Marine Raiders and on the stealth units and what they do, and when they go in As he's maturing as he's talking about, uh, being in combat on these missions. Um Did he ever discuss his mortality? Was that a conversation? Oh, yeah. You both of you had with Ted. Uh, he would say that. You know, you don't live real long, um, doing what I do..