Sgt Grit Staff visits MSgt Alfonzo Burris

Sgt Grit Staff visits MSgt Alfonzo Burris
We recently had the pleasure of visiting one of our loyal customer and friend, MSgt Alfonzo Burris, WWII Navy Veteran, and Korea Marine Corps Veteran.
MSgt Burris has been a long time walk in customer of Sgt Grit’s. He always comes in with a smile, stops at every station to say hi, and leaves us with some chocolates that he gets only from Hawaii. Burris, as we call him, met his lovely bride while stationed in Hawaii. The two of them came into the store from time to time and we left our seats to greet them every time. MSgt is a joker, he loves to stir up fun and put a little Marine Corps spin on things while doing it. (Language).
Recently he and his wife moved into an assisted living center and on July 4th, he lost his lovely wife of 66 years to a fall. That was when we knew, we needed to pay him a visit. It was 1000 hours. We approached his doorway and knocked, there was no answer. We knocked again, (he was expecting us), no answer. We decided to take a chance and turn the handle to peek in, we called his name, no answer. We could see across the room that his back door was cracked open slightly; he must be on the patio. So we walked in and went straight to the patio, opened the door and there he sat, enjoying the sunshine and a cup of sake. Yep that is a daily nutritional essential for Burris. Just a small cup a day keeps the doctor away. He offered us some sake, which we had never tasted, and then tried to give us refills; well one of us did partake of that refill. No names please. He was so happy to see us. We came bearing gifts from Sgt Grit which he quickly sat out for display among the other Marine Corps swag. We sat down and enjoyed about a 2 hour conversation with him. The sky was the limit. We talked about service, his wife, his children and grandchildren and we talked about the good stuff. Marine Stories and assisted living center stories. Would you believe he has to fight those women off with a stick and he isn’t afraid to use an actual stick, he is Marine; tell it like it is, all the way. He says the larger women in particular fight for his attention in the mess hall. He just waves his hand at them as to tell them, go away, leave me alone; I am a Marine, I have standards you know. One lady down the hall asks him, “will you walk with me”, he said, “Hell No I won’t walk with you, find someone else.” The truth is, none of these women could ever stack up to his lovely bride Janet. As much as we wanted to stay and drink sake, and hear stories, the party was soon crashed by a knock at the door. It was the Chaplain coming for a visit. We decided it was a good time to leave and let him enjoy his visitor. Burris was the perfect Marine gentleman. He offered to walk us all the way to the car, but not before telling the Priest, “Padre, I will be right back, stay and enjoy some sake, but don’t drink the whole bottle.” He walked us out and tears filled all of our eyes. He waved until we drove out of site.
Forever in our thoughts,
The Sgt Grit Staff. 

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