Frank Correa

I have a fever, body aches, headache and sore throat. I got up very early for two of the past three days. Today I slept in until 0630 but then had to get up to go meet my buddy I haven’t seen since Iraq. He found me on Facebook yesterday and we talked on the phone last night. Say what you want about social media but it has provided me with some incredible gifts. Being back in touch with this Marine is one of them. He told me he was coming to LA today to go to a breakfast honoring veterans at the Beverly Hilton and that I should meet him and his wife there. I was great to see him again and to meet his wife, I woman I had given voice to hundreds of time onstage in The Eyes of Babylon. 
I’m going to go to bed now in hopes that my body will do its thing and I’ll wake up feeling fine. That’s usually the way it happens for me. I have an inordinately resilient body. I have a great propensity toward good health. For this I’m grateful.
Here is the monologue that includes the description of events involving Frank Correa, my friend I reconnected with today. It’s going to have to do for a blog tonight. If I don’t live through this– trust me, I had a wonderful life.

A mother’s love is unfathomable.  The skinny mutt stands on the dirt mound and sniffs the hole that leads to the dirty nursery.  She has come here to check her pups before returning to her job of looking for food so she can produce milk for the young.  Her entire existence is consumed in their well-being.   I dare not feed her…much.  “The Cruels” will soon return.  “The Cruels” is the name I’ve given some of the Marines I’m traveling with.  So called because they’re cruel to the dogs, cruel to the Iraqis, cruel to me.   I don’t feed her much for fear that she would start hanging around us looking for more and that someone might hurt her.  She smiles and winks at me and I let myself believe she understands.   …As I wrote that last entry a marine from Motor T walked up and then another, a Mimms clerk.  The first, Staff Sergeant Frank Correa, says, “Oh I see you met my girl.  I call her Nina.”  “Reeeally?  You wanna hear what I wrote about her?”  They are totally down with what I wrote so I ask if they want to hear my letter to my fellow artists and actors.  Halfway through I have second thoughts and consider cutting it short.  I finish it anyway.  When I do, the younger marine says, “That letter was the best thing that has happened to me since I got to Iraq.”  Thank you, God.  I needed that. The Staff Sergeant was having trouble with “the missus” back home.  “She complains because I don’t tell her I love her enough.”  I asked him a couple of questions, “You know her dad?  Did he tell he loved her a lot?  Has she ever said ‘You weren’t listening to me just now, were you?  What did I just say?'” “Uh…yeah.” “Mmmm hmmm, here’s what you do…” and I proceeded to play the game I play with all my straight buddies back home.  It’s called “Here’s what she’s thinking. I also have to console him and calm his anger when he has to shoot the dog in the head.  Some of the Cruels thought it would be funny to feed her anti-freeze.  Apparently its delicious to dogs. It also causes a slow painful death.   I got to know these two Marines… many others.  Lance Corporal Christopher Bliss, a devout Mormon from Arizona, so in love with the girl he wants to marry that when he talks about her you can smell her on his breath.  Lance Corporal Eric Estenzo, a young man from Hawaii pours his Iraq onto the pages of a tiny sketch book as if everyday would be his last.  I’d listen to these men tell me about their lives and why they joined the Marine Corps in the first place.  They are noble men and I am so honored to serve along side them.   You know, it’s one thing to say what you believe in, it’s quite another to back that up with your own life.

See y’all tomorrow.

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