This weekend saw a special farewell ceremony. Not just for the Marine Corps, but for myself personally. A man who raised me to be who I am went to Valhalla with the love and support of those he called brothers. I could think of no better sendoff– and it is thanks to my comrades in arms.
This past Saturday, August 15th, my father Paul Ehline, USMC (Ret.) was sent off in grand style. Approximately 50 people celebrated the first Sgt. Paul Ehline Annual Ride. The effort was a product of years of emotion for the an who raised me. Sgt. Ehline suffered from cancer for the last several years of his life– a horrible disease that stole from him the vigor that I knew so well. However, he rested at peace knowing that he gave his all for his country and his family.
There are many people I must thank for this incredible event. First must be my brothers in arms, specifically the Leathernecks MC (LMCI). These men have gone above and beyond for our country as esteemed members of the USMC. Now in a time of mourning, we found a chance to celebrate. I must also thank my family and those who worked with me in order to make this event happen. I must also thank the Lytle Creek Gun Range for hosting this event. All told, it was a cathartic day for me. Below I want to tell you a bit about why.
About the Author
Michael Ehline is the lead attorney of the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys APLC. Along with being a proud father and husband, he is also a veteran of the USMC. He served with honor before being discharged due to an injury. He is a leading personal injury and civil rights attorney in Southern California. Among his most compelling cases and impetus to practice law is serving veterans. He took an oath to never leave a brother behind. Both during his time in the Corps and since, Ehline kept this oath. He also saw hundreds of young men and women give everything they had for the ideal of serving a cause larger than themselves. It is this energy and honor Ehline brings to his practice.
Furthermore, highlighting vets issues is a key factor for Ehline. As a disabled veteran himself, Ehline is determined to give each and every vet their due. He treats all of his clients with a powerful energy. Being around vets and serving them in and out of the courtroom is a major reason to keep up the good fight.
“I see these guys,” Ehline said, “who have done so much for our country. They have worn the uniform and risked their lives. There’s nothing better in my job than giving them a fighting chance once they return home.”
About the Sgt. Paul Ehline Annual Ride
Paul Ehline was the embodiment of the Marine Corps spirit to me. I believe that he always gave 110% because of what the Corps imparted upon him. After being drafted during the Vietnam War, my father asked to be transferred from the Army to the Corps. He knew what tough people Leathernecks were. And he showed this during his time in the service. He always had a little bit of Chesty Puller in him. Always willing to do what was right and needed.
My father departed for Vietnam after his training. He was in country for two years, between 1967 and 1969. During part of this time, he was stationed at Camp Caroll, in South Vietnam near the DMZ. He saw combat at Da Nang, Gio Linh, Rock Pile, the DMZ, Con Thien, and Camlo. During this difficult time the Corps made him a Forward Observer along with Force Recon Marines and regular infantry.
During his time in country, he witnessed to villagers and shared with them the possibility of redemption through Jesus Christ. In his time in the Corps he served with the 3rd Marines, 13th Marine Division, G Battery 3d Battalion, and the 5th Marine Division FMF.
Even after his first tour, he knew that his job was not done. Sent to Camp Lejeune, my father was not one to sit idly while his comrades were suffering and fighting in Vietnam. He volunteered to go back and gave his all to the Corps and his brothers in arms.
The Cost of War
Unfortunately, all of the combat and stress took a heavy toll on him. My father was exposed to Agent Orange, which played a role in the cancer that eventually took his life earlier this year. He also suffered from PTSD due to the strain of the war. However, support for this ailment was not well known at the time and he had to carry the burden by himself. Still, he was the strongest man I’ve ever known. He was always ready to honor the Corps and be the best father a young man could have.
This is part of the reason I decided to organize the annual run. He showed me the power of honor and commitment. He also showed to me the importance of loyalty. In contacting the Leathernecks, I found the same spirit of service. The members had been through their own trials and tribulations. In them, I saw what my father went through during his time in Vietnam and since.
I needed a way to honor both the Corps and my father. It was in this effort I came up with the idea of the ride. I plan for this to be an annual tradition. It will hopefully one that you all can get involved with and be a part of. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Even into death, my father proved this to me time after time.
SOURCE: Ehline Law Firm