I guess I am writing this to the students now attending Cretin and the alumni who have attended. My name is James Glaser and I graduated from Cretin and I wanted to tell you a story.
Early in 1968 I was home on leave from the Marine Corps with orders for Vietnam. I had been in the Marines a while and knew a lot of returning Marines and had some sort of idea of what I was headed for, but in truth I knew nothing. My dad was in WW II and Korea and his advice was to use these 30 days of leave to get in the best physical shape I could. We lived on the corner of Scheffer and Albert, a short jog to Cretin.
I felt a little weird back then having very short hair being it was 1968 and most guys were letting their hair grow out and so I kept to myself a lot but one thing I did was to go up to the Cretin track and run at night until I was exhausted with a pack on my back with about 40 pounds in it. As the days passed the runs got longer, all the time I was running I was thinking. Thinking about God, my future, and how I would become the combat Marine I always thought I wanted to be.
Well it was Cretin and those years there in ROTC really taught me nothing, but those years there in religion classes stuck with me. I can’t remember the Brothers name now, but many of his words were imprinted in my mind and to this day they are a blessing. I learned at Cretin, if nothing else, that I could talk to God about anything and I could ask for anything, although I didn’t always get what I asked for.
I wasn’t ready for Vietnam. I am still not over Vietnam. Every day I think of things that happened, young men who died on both sides, horrible things I had to do, the bodies I had to move and handle, the blood, mine and others that would itch because it might be many hours or a day before you could wash it off, but the faith I learned at Cretin helped my while in combat. I think it got me home, and it has helped me all these years after, and it still helps me today.
So, I thank Cretin High School for the education I received. I have one grand daughter who has graduated from Cretin, one still attending and I feel very good about that. I hope they feel the same as I do over 50 years later.
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