You are brave. It isn’t easy being a Marine. We’re proud of you for serving our country. We’re especially proud if you fought. You are a good man. Thank you for serving our country. We Love You!
Brandi E. Kositzin & Katrina M. Kositzin
P.S. Thanks for all of the things you’ve done for us.”
Written Memorial Day 1999 — when my kids were 10 and almost 7.
Dad lived a remarkable life which Prince Charming hopes to write a book about one day. The short story is that George P. Kositzin was born in 1933 in Harbin China, after his parents had emigrated from Russia during the revolution. When he was 18 he found his way to the Philippines and into the Marine Corps. After active duty with the Marine Corps — during the Korean War — he landed in San Francisco where he met the love of his life, Mary Ellen. Despite Mary Ellen’s parents’ initial objections, the two were married. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary in August, 2007.
Dad served with the Corps from 1952 to 1978, and retired as a Master Gunnery Sergeant. He was very proud of his service and his adopted country. After he met Mom, he converted to Catholicism, and was highly active in the St. Anne Parish. He spent many years running St. Anne’s bingo, and was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. After his passing, he was so respected by the Church community, he had a room named after him in the Church hall.
I, of course, met Dad after I met Prince Charming, and quickly adopted him as the father I never had. He was all about family, and love, loyalty, God and country. He raised his four children to respect their parents, their elders, our country and each other. I always knew I had his support in whatever difficult decision I was working through. I always felt like one of his own kids. I am grateful each day for his life since he was responsible for creating Prince Charming and thus our family.
We lost Dad in April, 2008 to a massive infection following his first chemotherapy treatment. There is still a hole in each of our hearts left behind by his absence. I feel his presence daily and am so so blessed to have known him.
The best way to get to know Dad, is to consider the words of The Marine Corps Prayer:
The Marine Corps Prayer
Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of thy presence and obedient to thy will.
Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones, and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate to those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.
If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; If I am tempted, make me strong to resist; If I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again.
Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.
Dad lived this Prayer every day, in every deed and action. I miss him so very much, but am grateful to have known him at all. Please on this Memorial Day, remember those who have fought for us, who have given their lives for our freedoms, who have set the example of what a true hero should look like.