“Staff Sargent Marden” by Chris Zito

My nephew Tyler is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I lost count of how many nights I prayed for his safe return and can’t even imagine how scared his mother was at times. I just saw him over the weekend. He’s a young, strong, heavily tattooed genuine American hero.

Boy, I didn’t see that coming.


That’s our man on the left. What a way to make a living!

Tyler was a typical teenager. He got himself into all kinds of stupid trouble by doing all kinds of stupid things. When he was about 15 he talked his mother into letting him go to a concert at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, a long way from their home in Bow, NH. He was going down with some friends whose mom was driving or something like that. Problem was he didn’t actually officially have a ride home. How a 15 year-old boy decides that traveling from NH to East Boston with no way home is a good idea is a mystery that may never be solved.


Perhaps this was plan B?

His mom called Kimi and I because we lived about two miles from Suffolk Downs at the time. She explained the situation and asked if we could help out. Kimi was completely confused. Not me. I had a teen-aged son. There is no amount of stupid they can’t conjure up given enough time in their own head.
I went over and picked the boy up and took him home.
When he got in the car I asked him what he was thinking.
He gave the universal kid response: “I don’t know.” Neither does medical science.
We spent most of the ride in silence, broken only by the occasional. “Your mom is going to kill you.”


The Taliban never scared Tyler after facing his mother.

Tyler was home last week with his wife and I had the privilege of seeing him at our family reunion. I grabbed him in my arms and savored the feeling of physically holding onto him. When we stopped hugging I took his face in my hands and thought, so this is what an answer to a prayer looks like.

Staff Sargent Marden didn’t always  make us proud when he was 15,  but he sure is making up for it now. He is officially one of the good guys.


Ty and his wife Rachel all gussied up!

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. very moving. hope hope for his safety.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: