Love Letters in the Snow:Honoring Fred and Clarie Martin

Nothing is left. Their home is gone, after an early morning explosion far from any battle field. The story of what happened on February 7,2011 is hard for their remaining family to grasp. Two beloved people gone in an instant.

The Martin’s dog, Jake survived. A journal was found in the snow. It contained love letters Fred had written to Claire while he served in the Vietnam War.

A cousin, Thomas J. Snee wrote a poem about these letters saying in part:

Letters in the Snow

Bound with love,

Written in time of war and separation

Only to be found in sorrow and desperation

To death do we part, given us to remind

to separate is only a passing . . .

Fred and Claire’s great love surround their children, grandchildren, and family. Passionate about life, they traveled, enjoyed music, and nature. It is fitting that the celebration of their lives and great love be held on February 14th, Valentines Day at 11 a.m. Stony Hill Church, 2756 Stoney Hill Road, Medina. Military burial will follow at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. Above all, love survives.
On line condolences at

In the Spirit of Honor

I received a letter from Beatrice Mitchell, an 81 year old mother of a Vietnam veteran.  She sent me some articles and documents saying,”I offer this in the spirit of honor due our military men and women and their families whose sacrifices will always remain unmeasurable.”  This poem is written by Beatrice. Please hold our servicemen and women and our veterans in prayer, especially those who are not able to be home for the holidays.

Vietnam’s Pieta

She carried him gently, without haste

In her arms to his resting place.

Things that could hurt him

And things he could break

She kept out of reach when her babe

Was awake

“Don’t talk to strangers nor accept a treat

Look both ways before you cross the street

And stay out of puddles on your way to school

Remember to follow the Golden Rule.”

A young man now, on his way to the prom.

A boy only yesterday, where had the years gone?

“Look out for that curve on old Mill Road.

Drive carefully son and don’t overload.”

Her prayers for him that also blessed us,

She whispered for him as he left on the bus.

The unshed tears that shown in her eyes

Were bravely withheld through her smiles and goodbyes.

Like great birds that hover when life’s returning to dust

The Black Hawks of mercy did not for flesh lust

When after the battle they plucked from the ground

The dead and the wounded from Vietnam.

No cautions for him on Mill Road today.

His car moved slowly as he passed that way

In a heavy box, draped in triad hue

They carefully folded the red, white, and blue

And placed it in her arms, now with tears on her face

She carried it gently as a babe to his resting place.

Virtual Vietnam War Wall

Mary, author of My Heart and Hank in LYMTYK, sent me this link about her cousin, Sgt. Eugene Pizzino. The link is a virtual wall of all those lost during the Vietnam war with the names, bio’s, and other information on our lost heroes.

Geno went to the same high school that I did–Riverside High School in Painesville, Ohio.  March 16, was the anniversary of his death. His plane went down and crashed while taking supplies to our troops. He died days later with over 50% of his body burned, in a hospital in Formosa. Geno was 21 years old.

God bless the brave soldiers who served in the Vietnam war.

Showing Respect

The teenagers carried a rose with a name attached on a small tag.  The plan was to find each individual name on the wall and to lay the flowers there to show respect. The names were of all those who had given their life for our country from Eastlake North High School during the Vietnam War.  That was the plan.  The Vietnam War Memorial was the place during this year’s senior trip to Washington D.C.

My nephew saw a fellow student throw the flower at the wall and laugh. Grabbing the kid, my gentle giant of a nephew said, ” Pick up the rose.”  His fellow student laughed again. My nephew (6’4″-270 lbs.) said,  “I’m not kidding.”  It took three high school students to hold my nephew back. His fellow student picked up the red rose and placed it correctly by the wall.

Thank you Joe for teaching your classmates the meaning of respect and not being afraid to do what had to be done. You rock!