The little Gunny went to her first Marine Corps League meeting last week. She was almost overcome with amazement and awe with all the generations of Marines she was in company of. It was interesting to see the reaction she got there. We were the only female there, plus her being a child, they just weren't sure on how to act!
She had the honor of meeting yet another Iwo Jima veteran and at one point, he was overcome with emotion and shed a few tears at her true devotion to what he fought for. He and another older Marine, a Guadalcanal veteran, were so enthralled by her that they kept calling her over to talk to them, not paying attention to the meeting. At one point in time, the 3 of them got a stern 'pay attention'!
When Taylor stood and introduced herself, it wasn't in that soft little girl voice, she stood up so fast her chair about flipped over and she snapped out GYSGT TAYLOR BATTEN SEMPER FI and at that, the room erupted with OOH RAH's and SEMPER FI's. From what I understand, the meeting was pretty tame, in order to accommodate the 'young one' which didn't sit well with Taylor. I told her that I will have to talk with these men and let them know the real her and that they do not need to treat her with such sensitivity.
I regret I didn't take any pictures of that night. Had the camera in my hand, just got caught up in everything and didn't take one.
Sen. John McCain made a campaign stop in Kalamazoo and Taylor was invited as a guest of Sen. Fred Upton. She got reserved seats right next to the podium and while she didn't ask any question like she wanted to, he looked at her and she smiled and he smiled back, pointed at her and winked. While she is to young to be real political yet, she liked being there and listening to what he had to say and when he talked of how he would take care of the veterans, she stood up and clapped and yelled out a few times. Some of the stuff didn't matter to her, what mattered was when our service members were brought up and then she perked right up.
We were able to meet a wounded soldier there. He was injured and he told us of how at first, he was taken care of, then he stepped in the red tape nightmare. As most of you know, when someone is wounded, at times, they are neither financially here nor there. This young man was wounded significantly, got into the red tape of financial help from our government and lost his house. Now his credit is ruined. Taylor wants to see from whoever is in charge of our nation, they make sure this doesn't happen. She shook his hand, told him she was sorry and that none of our service members, wounded or not, should be treated like that. If they fight for this country, this country needs to step up and take care of them a whole lot better. Pretty strong convictions for a 13 year old huh? Not, how is my hair, my clothes, gossiping with the other girls, worried about what to put on the MP3 player or what she will get next........worried about how our troops are being treated. VERY PROUD OF HER!