Do you say Happy Birthday to a branch of the armed forces? Is that a normal thing?
I read a little bit about the Marine Corps on Wikipedia, because isn’t that the best place on the internet to read accurate information? I learned some interesting stuff. Marines have always seemed to more elite and proud than other soldiers I’ve met who served in different branches of the military. That wikipedia page helped me understand more about why.
My brother in law served in the Marines. I asked him to send me a picture that could sum up his service. The photo he sent over is a family favorite, but his explanation of why he thought it summed up his time as a Marine made me love it more.
“I think that this picture is a great summary of my experience in the Marine Corps. Not because of the actual picture itself, but because of what is symbolizes. It shows a young kid who had been taught that he was invincible, and believed it. Even as I experienced death all around me, I never thought that it would happen to me, it couldn’t happen to me. My service changed who I am as a person, in good ways and bad. But not for one second would I change any of it if I could.”
When I was visiting them a few months ago, Jon and I would stay up late each night to watch The Lord of the Rings. We got through all three of the extended versions. Near the end of the movie, the four hobbits go back to the pub they were in when we were first introduced to them and they didn’t have a care in the world. Since then, they have almost been killed and fought in wars to save all of middle earth and everyone at home. Then there is this scene.
As we watched this I said, “Wow, it’s crazy. They’ve been through so much, but nobody has any idea.” Jon responded, “that’s what it felt like when I got back from Afghanistan.”
I’ve thought about that so much since then.
So thank you to all of our service men and women who keep us safe, especially our Marines today, and especially Jon. A thank you will never be enough.