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Jeffrey’s Uncle

November 21st, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

Tim Lickness in Vietnam

I received a letter last week from Tim Lickness, Cpl Jeffrey Starr’s uncle, with some words of advice I think anyone hoping to lead Marines one day should hear:

I note you want to be a Marine officer. I wish you well. I was a young airborne First Lieutenant, infantry platoon leader during the Vietnam War. Today I had lunch with an old friend of mine, Norm Mahalic. Norm was a Marine aviator (rotor) combat pilot in Vietnam. We had a wonderful time talking about our exploits of 38 years ago. While having lunch we noticed three young (very young) Marines come into the restaurant with three young civilian friends. I guessed they were right out of the Marine Corp Recruiting Depot just a few miles away. I know graduations are on Friday so I thought the chances were pretty good this was their first meal out of MCRD. I told the waitress to bring me their bill; she did. A few minutes later the three were standing at attention at our table thanking us for our consideration. I asked if they had just graduated and they had. One was from California the other two from Chicago. Nice young men. I thanked them for their service to our country and said that the meal came with a condition. Sometime around thirty years from now if they see some young soldiers or Marines they are to buy their lunch. They all agreed. They couldn’t have been more than eighteen.

Here’s the reason I’m writing. If you do become a Marine officer these are the guys you’ll be leading. The best our country has to offer. They (and you) are our future. It’s a tremendous responsiblity to lead these guys. It’s also a tremendous honor. Take your responsibility seriously. They, and our country, deserve it. You will be honored for doing so.

Best wishes for a successful career. Honor Jeffrey by being the best. Duty, honor, country. Be courageous. Be forever faithful. Trust in God, he will provide. Jeffrey was a mighty man of God.

Sincerely, Tim Lickness

The following links are to essays written by Tim about Vietnam.
This is the essay that first appeared in the WSJ in November 1996 under the title “and the War That Brought Out the Worst in Us”
Two other stories that first appeared in newspapers in Texas
This is a story related to Rescue Under Fire
Also related to Rescue Under Fire
Story in the San Diego Union Tribune

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  1. November 21st, 2005 at 21:34 | #1

    That was an awesome letter. Being on I&I Duty, I am away from at least 3 hours from any major base. There have been many times when I have been out in my Dress Blues with fellow Marines eating and our meal was paid for.

    Events like that make you proud to serve this country. Support from strangers means more than some will ever understand. I too will continue to support our troops when I’m done and retired and will someday pay for someone’s meal.

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