Editor's Query: Tell us about a time when ... a storm resulted in something surprising

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stationed in Iwakuni, Japan, in 1984, we knew the typhoon was coming. My Marine husband, Brian, was on duty at the base because flooding was expected over the sea wall.

With our house sheltered on all sides by stone walls and high up on a mountain, safe from flooding, we decided I would ride out the storm there with our two children.

As the storm intensified, the noise from the wind was terrifying. Water sprayed in all the windows, which had been left open so they would not blow out. My children, 4 and 6, were afraid -- and I had to pretend that I wasn't.

As the storm raged, I began to question the wisdom of being alone during a typhoon with two young children, in a house with paper interior walls.

Above the roar of the wind, I heard something hitting the metal door of our house -- something banging really hard.

I did not know what to expect when I opened that door. There, standing in front of me as the wind blew in sheets of rain, was a young Marine, soaking wet. The only thing I remember him saying was, "Just wanted to make sure you were okay, ma'am."

When I assured him I was, he disappeared back into the storm.

I had heard the words "Semper Fidelis" a thousand times before. But, surprising to me, I would learn what those words truly meant in the middle of a storm.

Margaret McMullen, Broad Run


Tell us about a time when a show-and-tell didn't go exactly as planned.

If you have a 100 percent true story taken from your own experience concerning the above query, send it to queries@washpost.com or The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.

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