April 9, 2009
Today is a big day in the Marine Corp. Every base, will celebrate the Marine Corp Birthday, special meals are a tradition along with a Marine Corp Birthday Cake. Today as they say in the Marines "Everybody eats". I remember in Boot camp, up in the darkness, scrambling out of your "Rack", (not that kind boys)having 10 minutes to get up, be dressed, make your racks, and be at attention in platoon formation, out in front of the Quanset huts. At that time MCRD had a population of 10,000 plus, so you can imagine this happening at the same time. We got greeted with our DI leading us in the Happy Birthday song to the Corp, told us "Everybody eats today, even the fatboy squad", and proceeded to try killing us with squat thrusts, the usual part of waking up. But that day, you were going to celebrate, you were not Marines yet, but soon to be.
. What it ment was Steak, and Marine Corp Birthday cake, and a few more minutes to eat, rather than the normal 3-5 minutes. It was still boot camp, and we still were recuits.
Marine bases have always prided themselves with good mess halls, and compared to many Navy bases we were on, they were noticably better. Today, every Marine base will have a special meal, in my time usually steaks with lots of extras. The day will include full dress ceremony, and parade ground reviews, on every base probably. The Marine Corp Ball will be a formal grand event, with the main ball having the Commendant of the Marine Corp. I'm sure other bases will have their balls as well, with formal dinners. Today will be the ball that the SGT in Iraq invited Mili Kunis to come as his date, and she accepted. I hope she actually goes.
The tradition of the Marine Corp is 236 years old today, both on and off the battlefield. Most Marines, like me never saw combat. Every era of the Marine Corp is also different from others. The traditions and bonds transends all eras, and the words Semper Fidelis to all Marines says it all. If you ever have the chance to tour the Marine Corp Museum at MCRD in San Diego, you will see a hall with glassed in displays, of the different eras, one next to another. My visit to MCRD decades later was both emotional and humbling. I took pictures with John Jr. on the very footprints I got off the bus onto in recieving barracks. I was humbled to sit in a courtyard, lucky enough to sit with my son, wife and daughter, knowing many from my era, never had that, with thier lives cut short. I sat listening to the sound of bootcamp that never changes, thinking of so many who passed through these buildings, the Parade ground, and herd these same sounds. Only 2 places for bootcamp, we all were recuits in these 2 places. Never felt the meaning of "Hallowed Ground" more, like their spirits were all around you. It was very humbling.
I realized how lucky I am, to now be 64, and have had to life these Marines all never had.
Happy Birthday Marines and Semper Fi.
April 9, 2009
August 27, 2010
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