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Happy Birthday to Shirley ’07 and Castiglione ’07

Confused by the title for this post? Wondering why neither Brad Shirley ’07 nor Jeff Castiglione ’07 seem to have November 10th listed as a birthday at WSO?

The birthday greetings go to Brad and Jeff, proud graduates of OCS this past summer and soon-to-be Marine Officers this coming spring because November 10 is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Happy Birthday, Marines! To those that have gone before . . . especially Miles Fox ’40. Birthday greetings as well to Lee Kindlon ’98, Chap Petersen ’90, Jerry Rizzo ’87, Tony Fuller ’89, Joel Iams ’01, Ben Kamilewicz ’99, Bungee Cooke ’98, Zack Pace ’98, David H.T. Kane ’58 and Tom Jones ’58. And many others.

But, if we were lucky enough to a a Birthday Ball for Eph Marines from around the world, pride of place would probably go to Preston Parish. Don’t know who Preston Parish ’41 is? Read this article from the Alumni Review of a decade ago.

Men like these stand ready to do violence so that my daughters sleep safely in their beds tonight. Semper Fidelis.

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#1 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On November 13, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

You may imagine my surprise, wonder and pleasure this morning, upon receiving a letter from an author in the process of writing a novel based on my father’s world and times, from which my mother read to me on the way to the doctor’s this morning.

Among the memoirs attached, we found:

About the time I was seven, and in first grade, they [Steve and Kenneth Thomas] came to live with us because [George Thomas’] store had burned down. Indeed, [their] livery stable had started burning first, [and] it was a horrible thing– all the horses were burned alive.
[The] two boys came to stay with us. Steve and Kenneth remained for a few months; then they left; Kenneth to the Coopers and Steve to Uncle Bird’s.
There was a vast difference in the way the Coopers lived and the way Uncle Bird Thomas and his family lived. And I think that difference had an effect on the way the two boys grew up. Steve never did learn to read as a result of that[;] it had to have influenced his outlook.
Then, of course, there was the Korean War[.] Kenneth was serious and duty-bound; Steve was full of laughter and met life with what Kenneth would have called “foolishness[…]”
It was a disappointment to me to learn that Steve and Kenneth had a falling out [later in life.] They were always together in my memories[…] I loved Steve and Kenneth and I wish they had loved each other more. I think they missed out on each other.

If any two phrases could at once encompass my memory of my father and his influence upon me, they would be “serious” and “duty-bound.” I found a good deal at Williams that helped develop the first trait in myself; as for the latter, I found not nearly as much as I had hoped, but the personal examples of singular individuals, Amy and Jon, Cindy and Cara, Dom Kulik, David and Beth (now Kensinger), Alex and Doone, and many others.
How odd, to find, at this point in life, that these traits were things which were always, already there– with a history and logic which precedes.
To discover, at this point in life, that there was once a brother, once a sort of twin, whose opposing traits also still live in me– despite my father’s serious efforts to root them out, despite all the separations between those brothers, and later myself and my father, in the history above. (With a little dash of Williams folly mixed in).
And (in an age when the author of one blog linked herein commented, to my amazement, that he did not know more than three soldiers), that I may have a few more soldiers’ stories to discover, amid so much more to learn about our past and future.
Semper Fi. Sleep well, dad. Wish you could be there next week.