Caitlin Foresman will turn 20 on Tuesday far away from her Pine Glen home.
Foresman, a Marine lance corporal, is serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand province with Combat Logistics Regiment 2. Speaking of birthdays, she deployed last month on another one, her grandmother’s.
“It wasn’t a great birthday for me,” said Jon Foresman, who pronounces her first name “Joan.”
She made sure her granddaughter will have a better celebration, even under the circumstances. Two boxes of goodies and cards are on the way.
“She loves my baklava, so I packaged that,” Foresman said.
On the big day, she and her husband, Loran, hope to send their love also via Skype, if everything works out. They live near their son, James Foresman, a single father of two sons and two daughters, but they would still be close even if they were miles away.
Everyone talks daily about their favorite Marine, the tough combat engineer who earned high marksmanship scores in basic training and routinely carries 80 pounds of gear on her 5-foot-4 frame.
“She’s 101 pounds soaking wet,” Jon Foresman said.
A 2011 Bald Eagle Area High School graduate, Lance Cpl. Foresman enlisted straight out of school to help pay for her future education. She researched all the branches, her grandmother said, and chose the Marines “because she thought they gave the best and longest training.”
“She gave this a lot of thought,” Jon Foresman said. “She wants to go to college in the medical field.”
Her job these days in Afghanistan, according to a Department of Defense news release, is to provide logistical support for other Marine units and U.S. allies. She’s in a war largely ignored by the American public, but in Pine Glen, there’s no more important place in the world.
For her grandparents, father, aunt, older brothers Trevor and Loran and younger sister Addie, the waiting will be hard.
“She’s doing well,” Jon Foresman said. “We’re of course very proud of her, and pray every day she’s going to return home safely.”
Minutes later, Foresman extended her wish.
“She and the rest of them. Everybody.”
BEA yard sale offers deals
Like many homeowners these days, Bald Eagle Area High School is looking to tidy its closets and make a little money with a yard sale.
BEA sports fans should get a kick out of this one.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, the school will offer surplus uniforms for sale in the gym lobby for the first time. Athletic Director Doug Dyke said he expects every sport will be represented.
“All the coaches are supposed to give me anything they no longer use, so we can try to recoup some of the cost that we paid for them,” Dyke said.
As of Tuesday, Dyke had collected junior and senior high school football uniforms, three sets of baseball jerseys, boys basketball uniforms, softball jerseys, cheerleader pom-poms and soccer jerseys for boys and girls. But he anticipates more displayed on tables in the lobby.
Prices should be no more than $25, maybe as low as a few bucks. Don’t expect antiques; the oldest uniforms date to the mid-1990s.
“Throwing them away seems kind of wasteful,” Dyke said. “Hopefully, this will get some money back.”
Chris Rosenblum writes a weekly column about news in the Upper and Lower Bald Eagle valleys. If you have news to share, email email@example.com or call 231-4620.