Today is the 236th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. I would like to wish all of the Marines a very happy birthday.
I also must confess, I am not a Marine; I was and am a Sailor. My time in Service is over, but like my Brothers and Sisters in the Corp, I haven’t stopped being a Sailor. Ask any Marine, there are no former Marines, once a Marine, always a Marine.
As such, I would like to tell you a story about My Marines (Yes Mine, and I defy any one from saying different).
While stationed in San Diego, I was shocked one morning as I approached the Main Gate. Standing in the Sentry box, was a civilian. Where had my Marine gone… for months, I had slept soundly knowing that a young Devil Dog was watching over me. Protecting me from any harm and standing ready to defend me from our enemies.
Now here was a civilian, he was fit enough to be reasonably intimidating I suppose, but he wasn’t a Marine.
I have encountered Marines that most certainly do not appear, at a glance to be intimidating, and I have even found (one or two) that were really pussy-cats. But, they were still Marines, trained by the Department of the Navy, Marine Corp to be professional soldiers. And not in the namby-pamby Army Soldier way (I did mention I was Navy), no, Marines are trained to fight to the death. Heck I don’t even know if the Marines have a bugle call for retreat.
Now my Marine was gone… I felt betrayed. I felt as if the Navy, heck the entire US Government, had just left us vulnerable to attack from without, I felt let down for months.
Then I realized something, my Marine had not abandoned his post, the Marines hadn’t left us to lounge in the sun somewhere, no they simply re-positioned the guard shack and left the Civilian at the gate to re-assure us that someone was still watching the base.
I checked as I was stationed around the world, everywhere my ship went I looked, and I always found my Marine. They were standing their post in Lebanon in 1983 and in Mogadishu in 1992. They were protecting me in Dubai, and in Abu Dabi.
It seems that my Marines didn’t leave, they just moved further out so I (and you) could sleep soundly here at home.
Semper Fidelis Marines, Happy Birthday may you enjoy another 236 years of Honor with Pride.