“Where do we get these people?”

The idea came to Krissoff that he, too, wanted to serve the Marines, as a surgeon. Usually, as Krissoff says, “fathers inspire sons; in our case, I think sons inspired dad.”

Only at age 60, he was too old. He wanted to sign up with the Navy so he could care for Marines, but the Navy politely turned him down. His second choice, the Army, told him it would take at least a year for an age waiver.

Then the Krissoffs were invited to a small gathering with President George W. Bush, who was in the area meeting with families of the fallen. At the end, Bush asked if there was anything the White House could do. Krissoff said he wanted a waiver to serve in the Navy Medical Corps. The meeting was on a Tuesday. On Friday, Krissoff had his waiver.

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