To Kathy... (see showing graduation from USMC Boot Camp c May 12, 1963 picture of platoon added)
Semper Fi Mike... It was a cold, “wet” night outside, for several days, the snow had fallen, ultimately turned to slush, on this particular February 1963. We were 2nd semester freshmen at Indiana University, Bloomington (main) campus- engulfed in campus life, contrasted from our respective high school days in “the Region” (Lake County)- Mike his days of high school football, me- previously playing on our Senators team basketball for the State Championship basketball game (ECW v. Evansville Bosse), then as a freshman walk-on at IU's BB team, Clearance (Fauber) we regarded the “brains” of our seemingly in retrospect, spurred, no doubt (as we all a fate) by an exploring wonder-lust gagle of teenagers . Then ages 18-19; huddled around my bed, playing cards, in my dorm room –“C-214”, i.e., with our brand new Martin building dorm, in Foster Quadrangle on Fee Lane- playing cards. Restless, sensing collective comments amongst the others, I recall … “I'm going to join the Marine Corps!” With little no longer than a breath of time to reflect… not now recalling the order… each of the other said, “yes”, “sure, why not”, “yeah… me too”.
We shared our “teenage limited considerations, perceptions and aspirations” and we were off. or consequences”. In particular, and if not incessantly, for Mike… would say: “I'm ready for some excitement”. We left Indianapolis on an 8 hour prop-driven TWA non-stop flight landing, at about 12:20 am in San Diego, CA… and right next to the US Marine Corps Depot (“USMCRD”)- for “Boot Camp”- there for 12 weeks, and follow-up at Camp Pendleton (north of San Diego, at Oceanside) for Advanced Infantry Training (I recall that for an additional grueling 4 weeks). Although we were split up from different companies/ battalions – which necessitates our further respective training – called then “MOS” (military jargon: Military Operation Specialty). Originally and following Camp Pendleton, following leave (respectively we went back home to the Region) for 30 days. Then, coincidentally, we all returned to MCRD- San Diego, for training for Mike, Clearance and Danny for Communications School; me to Special Services – Military Police section for the base). Because we were all stationed there in San Diego, as I was enrolled and taking night school classes, commuting at San Diego State College, at night, we decided to “chip in” and had an apartment, on campus. As we most were scheduled “8-to-5 days” we relished the weekends together on campus matters. After Mike and the others finished their schooling “The Corps” our separate ways.. I seem to recall.. Clearance went to El Torro Marine Corps Air Base (Air Wing – near then, Tustin, CA (near Disneyland), Danny was assigned to Administration to a battalion based in Las Pulgas (adjacent to Camp Pendleton- on the ocean), a few months later to Hawaii (USMC Air Wing Kaneohe base), Mike (I was led to inform was transferred to the East Coast, near or at Camp LeJeune, NC). While we were together (especially) in San Diego, and Oceanside areas we remained in touch. Most important here was the resounding theme… How much Mike expressed his love and affection for Kathy. It was remarkable… it was as though whatever life was going to avail for him… for him… he adored, and soul-loved (if that is possible… so great the profession of his love) and they were going to be married for the rest of his life.
Mike got his desire fulfilled. I always over the years have made comment, when the subject came up, both professionally when practiced family (divorce) law providing counsel as well, and as non-professionally as casual comment about marriages and “love” as an institution, commitment and “just right” couples… I would mention Mike and Kathy…. Ie., That the magic of life gave Mike, and I know Kathy, too, had really had that “magic” that came and happened upon the two of you…. and truly had the “gift of love”. That is the treasure of life that seems to all-too-often eludes the intentions of “…best laid plans of men…”. Your life in and during while with physically is no less than together as they are now… no breath of thought and time can be any further from each other – for all time. You have, you are and remain blessed. For Mike… an via you, Kathy… may you always be..
Lastly I forever remember being emblematic of the sound and music/lyrics Mike would say and sing to us while together in the Corps- while the song was popular: by the Chiffons: “He's So Fine” (I'm going to try to affix for you… If not you may have it or want to hear it.). God Bless… s/me
Semper Fi. s/ Rob "Krag" Kragulac (see platoon MCRD Graduation Photo I have attempted to add)