Monday, March 24, 2003

Keeping in touch

Randy J. Aragon, 19, of Hamilton is a 2001 graduate of Hamilton High School. He is the son of Connie Jones and Randy Aragon.

His mother writes:

My son, Randy, was 17 when he came to me one day and ask if he could join the United States Marine Corps. Immediately I said, "No." Plans for his future included college in the fall following his high school graduation. Over the next several weeks Randy chipped away at my parental decision not to let him join - not even for the Reserves.

The Enquirer wants to share the stories of the hundreds of Tristate men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces and their families. If you are willing to share your story, contact reporter Howard Wilkinson, e-mail:; telephone: (513) 768-8388; mail: Howard Wilkinson, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Randy's dad and uncle were both in the Marines. He had always been proud of them.

Shortly before Randy graduated from high school, he came to me. He said if I didn't sign for him to join the Corps, he would sign up on his 18th birthday, missing out on some of the benefits of the Delayed Entry Program. After researching the program, I relented.

As a reservist candidate, Randy scored in the upper fifth percentile in the state of Ohio on the Armed Services Placement Tests. Randy is currently assigned to Military Police Company "C," Mortuary Affairs, Dayton, Ohio. On Feb. 1, Randy successfully completed instruction in Search and Recovery, and Collection Point Operations. He is a Certified Mortuary Affairs Specialist, recently mobilized to Kuwait City.

Randy and I have always been really close. I asked him recently how I was supposed to get through each day knowing he was in that horrible situation. My son sternly but sweetly said to me, "Mom, I have a job to do. I need you to be strong. I am going to do the job I have been sent here to do, and then I will be home."

Please pray for our country and our leaders. Specifically pray for our soldiers.

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