OWASSO, Oklahoma –
Many of us see a veteran and stop to say thanks, but one man is going well beyond that.
War In Afghanistan veteran, Anthony Marquez doesn’t want new generations to forget about the greatest generation – those who lived during a time of great deprivation, then, went off to war.
Some, like World War II veteran Floyd Bowman, live in our communities and have a lot to offer.
The two Marines now share a strong bond that all began over pancakes.
“I used to eat at the IHOP every day, and one day, about a year ago, Anthony was in there, sitting in a booth, and saw me,” Floyd recalled.
Anthony said, “He’s sitting by himself and he had a hat on that said, ‘USMC,’ so I just got up and went over there and shook his hand.”
Floyd mentioned he was a World War II photographer; Marquez was a bomb dog handler in Afghanistan.
“I said, ‘I want to meet up again and go eat, or whatever, take you out sometime and go talk again,’” Anthony said.
The two planned a second pancake date, and a third, and a forth…It’s been going on, once a week, for more than a year now.
“I feel like, I don’t know, I need to include him,” Anthony said.
They mostly just eat at the Owasso IHOP or go to one of Floyd’s doctor appointments. Anthony even planned a party for the Marine Corps’ 240th Birthday; Floyd got an invite.
“I have talked to lots and lots of Marines. Never, never have I seen or talked with or been with a Marine like this man,” said Floyd.
Days can get long and lonely for a 91-year-old, especially during the holidays.
Floyd said when a Marine meets another Marine, they’re immediately brothers, but there’s something more to their relationship.
“He has filled a tremendous void for me and my loneliness, yes he has,” said Floyd. “He is a true American patriot…everything he does, he cares about people.”
Anthony works to stop veteran suicide. He does so by promoting camaraderie, and what better way than to practice what you preach?
Floyd said, “I’d do anything on Earth I could for him because he’s done everything for me, so much. I truly love the guy…I truly love him.”
Anthony said he wants to spread some holiday cheer to Floyd and is asking everyone to send him Christmas cards this year.
You can send them to Floyd Bowman at P.O. Box 709, Owasso, OK 74055.