At times, I prefer to bury my head in the sand and pretend the world is a happy place where we all love one another, respect life, and stop and smell the roses. The Aurora, Colorado tragedy certainly proves the reality of life; our world is unfair, cruel, and downright insane. When a bug-eyed, orange-coiffed James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, sits in a courtroom while his victims struggle to recover or are laid to rest, despair and hopelessness loom large.
But when you least expect it, you'll find a light that restores your faith in mankind. Such is the case of little Cody Green and Sergeant Mark Dolfini of the United States Marine Corps.
Cody Green loved the Marines and drew strength from the Corps. to face his ten year battle with leukemia. In Cody's final days (he passed in April, 2012), the United States Marines rewarded Cody's courage by giving him Marine navigator wings and making him an honorary United States Marine. Sergeant Mark Dolfini wanted to do something more.
Dolfini contacted Cody's parents; when he heard the young boy was in his final hours, the Sergeant went to the hospital and took it upon himself to stand guard outside Cody's door for as long as it took for the child to leave our world and join the next. Dolfini stood guard for eight hours. At Cody's funeral, he approached the casket and saluted the young honorary Marine. Dolfini also saluted Cody's grieving mother.
“Marines don't do this sort of thing for acclaim,” said Sergeant Dolfini. “That's not how we're wired. It's not why we join. We didn't join the Marine Corps. to be rich. We didn't join it for fame. You don't do it for that reason. If we all did just something like that once a day or just something small just think of what an incredible legacy that would leave for Cody.”
Though this story is apparently making the rounds on facebook, it is not feel-good internet fiction. Snopes.com and several news agencies have confirmed the event. The United States Marine Corp., and specifically one sensitive soldier, showed the world evil cannot win. Sometimes, amidst sorrowful, dark days, good people reach into their hearts and prove respect for life – and hope – still thrive.
Kudos to the United States Marine Corps. Semper Fi!