In most branches of the military, the first of the month is when service members get promoted if they have met the requirements. On July 1st, Marines here in Iraq were no different.  As blowing sand came across the landscape, their promotion would be done in a combat zone instead of some nice clean meeting room, Marines gathered in formation as they had accomplished the requirements and met guidelines to be promoted to the next rank. No family members, no high attention, just fellow Marines ready to be promoted and fellow Marines ready to congratulate them.

“In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.” Wikipedia

Wide eyed, covered in dirt, Marines in their early 20s stood as symbols of America’s finest.  Brave, disciplined and eager to fight any sort of insurgency that showed its face on the drop of a hat, they positioned themselves to be promoted. When promoted, a warrant is read and they are asked who they would like to pin on their new rank. It is an honor to recognize the new Sergeants, Corporals and Lance Corporals as the selected fellow Marine actually pins on their new rank onto the collar of the Marine and welcomes them to the new challenges.

These are the young leaders of America. The ones typical Americans may think had no other choice but to join the military, or looked upon as kids. I can assure you that the days of resorting to the military as a last choice are gone and these “kids” not only maintain million dollar military equipment perfectly, but can make a life and death decisions in a blink of an eye and are tuff as nails.  These are the warriors who get tasked to serve the thankless jobs of several patrol, standing guard and small unit leaders.  However when on guard, they could be and usually are faced with that one situation of a suicide borne vehicle that attacks a front gate and they make the conscious decisions to fight back and kill the attacker. These are the service members who then return back to the states only to resume mundane jobs when they get out of the military and are considered ”kids”.

America, you got to know your young Marines are on the cutting edge of it all. Maturity, discipline, education and health. They truly are the epitome of America and those who found this country, would still be proud of their Marines today as they were in 1776.

During this 4th of July holiday, when we celebrate the independence of our great country, take a second during the picnics, BBQs, patriotic music and fireworks and pay a few seconds of honor to those keeping our independence free. Because as you enjoy your holiday, newly promoted warriors stand guard and keep the wolf at bay.

“In 1778, General George Washington marked Independence Day with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute.” Wikipedia)</p></blockquote><p>
Have one for us during your holiday and keep the other shot of rum until we can get home and share it with you!!
Semper Fidelis – Maj Pain


  1. To each and every single one of you brave warriors out there on the front line: Words fail to convey how proud I am of you! I don’t know your names, I don’t know your face, but I *DO* know that each one of you is someone’s beloved child, spouse, cousin, grandchild, friend.
    I have 3 sons (ages 31 down to 9 y/o), and I have a Mother’s heart for you guys, too.
    I’m older than most of your moms (I turned 55 just last week), probably closer to your grandmothers’ age, right? My former husband was a Marine in Viet Nam, Cambodia, you name it. Three Purple Hearts to his credit. Sadly, that generation of young soldiers were so ignored and too many have continued to struggle for decades because of it. I vowed to never pass up an opportunity to express the love and appreciation I have for any and all soldiers doing their part to keep me and my kids safe.
    So, consider yourself ***** HUGGED ***** by this momma, and remember that you are all being brought before God daily in prayer, for your safe, successful mission, and joyous return home, to the loving arms of your loved ones.
    I hope that by July 4, 2009, you’ll all be swimming in a cool, clean swimming pool, sipping on something frosty, waiting for the BBQ ribs on the grill to be ready to eat, with all of your loved ones giving thanks for your safe return from duty.
    Love and hugs to every one of you,
    Thank you for all of your support. Your Marines here will walk through fire for you back home. Thank you for making a difference to all of us! Maj Pain

  2. Hip Hip HooRaY!
    Congrats to them all!
    And a BIG Thank You from us here at home!
    You are continuing to keep the Independence in our Independence Day Celebrations!
    Have a great holiday, we will be thinking of all of you!!!

  3. You can rest assured you will be remembered at this house on the 4th and every other day. You are what keeps this country alive. Bless you and God keep you. Semper Fi boys; I’m proud to be an American grannie. Jude

  4. You got a deal Major!
    Challenge coins not needed…..
    The tab for you and your Marines paid in full!
    Jul 4th at 5 PM.. The Z’s and I will raise our glasses to you and your “DirtPeople”..
    Thank You!

    (Congratulations to the newly promoted!)

  6. It lifts my spirits to see all of these fine Marines doing their duty under such harsh conditions. Knowing we have fine young Americans answering the call to step up and put themselves in harms way gives us hope, and we know we can be safe in our homes. God Bless each of you, and God Bless The United States Marine Corps!!! We pray for your safe return. Semper Fi !!!!

  7. Hugs to those guys and gals protecting our freedom!
    Have a Happy 4th everyone.
    Congrats to the newly promoted! :o)

  8. You Marines are the Best! There aren’t words to express the deep pride I feel every morning when my flag goes up in your honor. Thank you for so many years of service to our nation.

  9. Congratulations on your promotions Marines! We are so proud of all of you!

  10. Dear Marines
    First let me tell you how very proud we are of you! You are all in our thoughts and hearts today and every day. The sacrifices you and YOUR FAMILIES make on a daily base is remarkable . I wish I could hug every one of you !
    While we are celebrating Independence Day tomorrow we will be very humble and take NOTHING for granted . And we will be with you in thought.
    My Husband , a Retired 1st Sgt ( Army) served with the 173rd in Vietnam and got blown off a tank. (Skull fracture )He told me to tell you SEMPER FI ; with tears in his eyes. He has severe PTSD amongst other ailments.
    Please know that you are always on our mind , NEWS 24/7 in our house.
    You guys ROCK !
    God bless you and keep you safe !
    Petra ” The Rock ”
    Soldiers Angel from

  11. much love to each and every one of our military serving and protecting our country. it is not much, to say these words, i wish it could be more. but they come from the deepest and most honest place in my heart.
    thank you for our independence.
    love & admiration always,
    Marine @ Heart

  12. To my Marines, OOH RAH! I am proud that you stand for what you do and you fight with the heart and soul you do. It is YOU that make a difference, not the politicians, not the whiners. YOU. I am proud you have taken a stand for me and everyone else. Many people tend to forget, there are people all over the world not just here in America and all people deserve what you are fighting for. You all can say you have actually done something, many can’t say the same. GOOD JOB and as Major B says KEEP ATTACKING.

  13. Hi Marines
    How are you all ? We surely appreciate all that you do for us and for our Country ! Anybody coming home soon? Do you all need anything?
    We miss you guys !
    God bless you all
    Petra ” The Rock ”
    Soldiers Angel from

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