United States Marines are trained to be tough, a critical key to success in combat. But as with all true Americans, unlike those just passing time here, our Marines also possess heart and compassion.
Such was vividly demonstrated earlier this month at a children's triathlon in Florida. An 11-year-old boy, a bone-cancer survivor, but at the cost of a leg, was competing, when, at about the half-way point of the run, his prosthetic leg broke. He gamely tried to fix and reattach it, but without success. Several Marines were near-by, and witnessed the young man's efforts and dilemma. With little hesitation, one of the Marines stepped forward, lifted the boy up and onto his back, and continued the run, carrying him all the way to the finish line, accompanied by his fellow Marines.
What a tremendous act of compassion, witnessed and cheered-on by the waiting crowd, as the boy and his new "team-mates" crossed that finish line. Those great Marines were, in turn, saluting that young man's courage after all he'd been through at such a young age. There's an old adage that no man (or woman) stands so tall as when he or she stoops to help a child. On that day, along that beach in Florida, a group of caring Marines proved yet again that, as it should always be, those true words are far more than just a saying.