Wednesday, August 30, 2006

LCpl Randy Newman, Valiant Warrior

LCpl Randy Lee Newman, USMC
May 25, 1985 - August 20, 2006
A strong and valiant warrior
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said,
"The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
Judges 6:12 (New International Version)

I had the honor of attending the memorial service for Randy Newman. It was a moving celebration of his life and his love.

The orders were read for his two Purple Hearts, and they were presented to his parents.

We were welcomed into the love and warmth of his family. I did not know Randy, but I have learned so much about him in the past week, that I miss him. He was of the finest among us. His parents shared their photos of him, their stories, their love and some of his letters. Friends shared their fondest memories. His wrestling coaches and JROTC instructors spoke of Randy - his determination, strength, kindness, leadership, citizenship. One of the most touching speeches was from a high school classmate, now a Marine Cpl, who spoke of the friendship he and Randy had in school, and the bond that they had as Marines. This young man has served two tours in Iraq. He thanked the Patriot Guard for being there, then promised them and us that the Marines would always stand between us and our enemies - "we are not leaving" he promised. Randy's best friend is deployed in Afghanistan. He sent a most moving letter to be read.

A Marine color guard presented and retired the colors. The bagpipe and drum corp played. His pastor, Dan LeLaCheur, shared about Randy's faith and his love for family, life, friends, country, Corps and God. We laughed and we cried.

Whatever else we felt, we felt the terrible burden of freedom - it is not free - and, Randy paid the ultimate price for all of us.

My prayers are with the Newman family and friends. May God's Peace be with you.

My eternal gratitude that we have such fine young people in this country who are willing to protect us and defend us, and through living the best life, teach us how to be better people and better Americans.

To leave a message for Randy's family, you can visit his Legacy pages.

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