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St. Petersburg couple will visit Marine son, despite lack of money

Roy Hall, a former Marine, holds a photo of his son, Lance Cpl. Evan “Poolee” Logan, 19, who will be deployed Tuesday.

MELISSA LYTTLE | Times

Roy Hall, a former Marine, holds a photo of his son, Lance Cpl. Evan “Poolee” Logan, 19, who will be deployed Tuesday.

ST. PETERSBURG

It doesn't matter that he is collecting unemployment and that he and his wife are barely making ends meet.

It doesn't matter that they don't know how this month's rent will be paid.

Roy and Robin Hall will make the hard choice and go visit their son, Evan "Poolee" Logan, a Marine stationed at Camp LeJeune, N.C., before his deployment to Afghanistan.

A former Marine himself, Hall knows this is a no-brainer.

"It's my son," Roy Hall said. "For me not to be there, it'd be a sin."

Hall remembers well the anticipation and anxiety of a nearing deployment. He served as a Marine lance corporal in the early '80s and was ready to go to Okinawa, Japan, before his orders were changed at the last minute.

He can't imagine not being there for Logan, whether he has an income or not. Hall found out he was out of a job just days before Christmas, when he came home to a phone message saying he had maxed out his hours for temporary employment on the production line at Unilever of America in Clearwater, where they make Breyer's ice cream. Hall said his contract had been unclear since he was hired in October 2009, and he never knew he was a temporary worker until he was told not to return to work.

The Halls are not yet sure what they'll do if they can't pay this month's rent on their townhome. They spoke with their landlord, who was understanding but couldn't make any exceptions, not with the current economy. But at the moment, they're only concerned about their son.

"It's a hardship, but there's our faith to get us through," Hall said. "We can't let him down. God created this situation for us, and by the grace of God we'll get through it."

Logan followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Marines in August 2008, a few months after he graduated from Gibbs High School. The 19-year-old lance corporal, a Humvee and tank driver for the LB6 Bravo Company Truck Battalion, will be deployed for his first tour Tuesday.

The Halls will drive more than 12 hours Monday to see Logan for a few hours before he leaves.

"From a dad standpoint, when your children go through something, they need that support. You have to be there," Roy Hall said, his eyes welling with tears. "From a Marine standpoint, you got to support your brothers. It's no longer father-child. It's two men now. It's we Marines."

He holds up his gold Marine ring, inlaid with a red stone, which his son gave him the day he graduated from boot camp in Parris Island, S.C.

"He said to me, 'Mr. Roy, I have something for you,' " Hall said. "I had told him a long time ago that I lost my ring. He bought himself one, and he bought one for me, too. It was emotional for me as a Marine, and as a dad also."

As for the looming question of the rent, the Halls are unsure how they'll come up with the money.

"I have to go on faith. All that we can work out later," Hall said. "I have to worry about our son now. It's not about us right now. We'll worry about the rest later, because we can't bring him any negative energy."

Tania Karas can be reached at (727) 893-8707 or tkaras@sptimes.com.

St. Petersburg couple will visit Marine son, despite lack of money 01/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 8:06pm]
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