Sometimes when old Marines die they do fade away into unmarked graves in Potter's Field.
Such might have been the case for Gaspar Musso, USMC 925050, who fought in the Battle of Tinian in the Marianas Islands in 1944 and who died Nov. 15 at age 84 in a Brooklyn nursing home.
Enter Police Officer Susan Porcello, a PBA delegate at the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge and one of those big-hearted New Yorkers who still make this the best city on Earth.
"No way was I going to let this brave old Marine who fought for his country in WWII get buried in Potter's Field," she says.
Porcello first met Musso back in July when she responded to a 911 ambulance call to the retired insurance broker's one-bedroom apartment on, appropriately, Marine Ave.
"When my partner, Eddie Ennis, and I arrived at his apartment Gaspar seemed a little bit down about himself," Porcello says. "He said he felt alone in the world. We talked to him a bit and as I looked around his tidy apartment I noticed that he had served in the military - the Marines to be exact."
Porcello asked him about family and friends. "Look around you, what do you see?" Musso said. "I have no family or friends."
To which Porcello said, "Well, I'm your friend."
Right there, with those four beautiful words, Gaspar Musso was destined to die with the dignity he'd earned with a rifle in his hands, fighting in a USMC uniform, in a war that saved civilization.
Go read the rest here, it will warm your heart. Heroes come in many different forms. NYPD Officer Porcello's selfless actions, backed up by her own hard earned money, exemplify the best of our great country's law enforcement officers, and her kindness, compassion, and generosity (and those of the other officers who assisted in giving Mr. Musso a dignified burial) should serve as an inspiration to us all.