Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
Today I take a break from my normal posts to honor the few, the proud. To my brothers and sisters, past and present. Happy Birthday Marines!
233 years ago today on November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised". Since then Marines have participated in every major battle, in every clime and place with honor, courage and commitment.
To me this day, this birthday, holds more importance to me than my own. I don't say that with bravado or ego, I say it because I could never pay back what the Corps provided to me.
Each year I recall a day in mid July 1984. I had been in bootcamp for about a month by that point and still had 2 more to go before earning the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. I was standing alone outside the chow hall waiting for the rest of my platoon. I was nothing more than a sorry ass, beaten down lump of shit. It was by far my lowest point ever. I didn't trust that I knew my name, I didn't trust that I knew where I came from. I felt as though I had been ripped down to my core, I literally had nothing left.
Except for one thing. I wanted to be a Marine more than ever.
On that day, literally at that moment, I knew I had been broken. I realized from that point forward I would never be the same.
I know the Corps isn't for everyone and I know some fellow Marines may not have hit the depths I discovered that day, but for me it's what has helped define me as a person ever since. For that I will be forever in debt to my beloved Corps and fellow Marines.
Tonight I will find a bar, toast a few to my leatherneck brothers and sisters, think about that day and the sacrifices of the hero's who paid the highest price so we could live free.
I haven't missed a birthday toast in the past 24 years and I know I will continue till the day I wear my dress blues for the last time.... even if they do have to split it up the back to make it fit.
Semper Fi Marines, carry on!
Good night Chesty, wherever you are.