I started my day off by finishing my bitter black cup of delicious coffee, enjoyed a morning cigar, then went for a good run with mans best friend (my dog).
On this Marine Corps Birthday as I ran I thought of all of the great Marines I have served with, those that never came home and those that went before me. No where have I ever been so proud of my fellow co-workers, brothers, Marines.
Regardless if you don't know the Marine, when you meet, you immediately have the mafia bond of the Marine Corps. I thought back of Marines and them saying phrases like:
-Hold my beer, watch this……
-Hurry up and wait….
-Seriously, more annual training?
-I shouldn't have gone out last night, lets get this PFT over with…..
-Great, we have been extended….
-Roger that Sir
-This is bullshit…..or this sucks
It's something one cant explain unless you have been there sharing the "suck" with your fellow Marines, experiencing crap and watching young Marines excel with pride, enduring ugly things and coming through with flying colors. We ask our Marines to push themselves to a level they didn't think they could achieve because in combat they continue even well past the bar we set for them.
The "la familia" is an earned position. Once a Marine always a Marine, no one can ever take that away from Marines. We aren't "former" Marines, we are Marines regardless if we are retired, dead, or active duty. We are Marines and we have been the nations "breach up the middle" force for the past 241 years.
Foreign countries fear Navy ships on the beach horizons because they know they are full of Marines that have been kept in the deepest part of the ship, bitter and ready for a fight.
We volunteer to travel to nasty places, do the unthinkable while we remain polite as those we are to help, try to kill us, we walk through fire and try to muster a smile afterwards. Marines, they come in two variations, big, mean, short haired or skinny mean and short hair. They are usually the most arrogant, bad mouthed, "raunchy" tattooed individuals but would feed a stray kitten some of his MRE peanut butter bar for a little companionship. They will protect the weak and beat down the evil in a blink of an eye. If you fight one, get ready for long fight because you will have to fight them all (good luck).
We have been described as a cult, we harp on discipline, traditions and worship warriors like Sgt Basilone and Chesty Puller and have a beautiful bulldog as our sexy mascot. We may argue among ourselves or even one of our fellow brother military branches, but if you take us on, we will immediately become one and turn on you. Many don't understand.
I can't exactly explain what being a Marine is truly like unless you have walked onto those footprints, then you know. I can tell you Marines are Americas proudest and will gladly go forward in harms way to fend of Americas threats. That alone includes allot of tenacity, training, dedication, sacrifice and patriotism. It isn't easy being a Marine or else everyone would be one.
To all my fellow Marines, I am proud to call you brother, proud of what you have done, what you will do in the future and proud of those that went before us. No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi and Happy Birthday Marines. Time for a C-Gar