October 6, 2006
A United States Marine hurt during combat finally came home. The Marine saw his parents after serving in Iraq for seven months.
The emotions of Paul Laidler while waiting to see his son, Lance Corporal Joshua Laidler, were excitement, nervousness, and love.
Those feelings were put at ease once the Marine saw his family after being shot by a sniper in Iraq.
"Oh, I am just thrilled to death. It's been a long step of events," said the Marine's Father Paul Laidler.
Paul was thrilled because his son was returning home from war. Laidler said his family has been through a lot having their Marine in Iraq. Most significant was three weeks ago.
"He was helping out doing a last thing before they left. They had four days to go, and they asked for volunteers. He was first in line like always," added Laidler.
Laidler said his son went on a mission with a lieutenant. The lieutenant returned, and so did his son, but...
"...He was the last one to come back in following everybody in. As he turned, he felt something warm in his leg, and looked down to see lots of blood. He took about two steps and dropped," said Laidler.
All the Marines freaked out. Lance Corporal Laidler was shot by a sniper. A bullet grazed one of the Marine's legs, and went through the other leg. Somehow, Lance Corporal Laidler was in good spirits.
"He said he had just talked to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and they told him he was a hero, he did the right thing, and told him he should be proud. I was like 'wow,' you know," said his father.
The next wow will be when his son gets the Purple Heart.
"It's pretty cool. I am very patriotic. I just can not believe that young kids like him are out there," said Laidler.
Lance Corporal Joshua Laidler's dad, and two younger brothers will be on-hand for the purple heart ceremony. The ceremony should happen in about four months.
The Marine's dad also served in the military. Paul Laidler was enlisted in the Army during President Reagan's administration.