A Very Special Birthday

In my family there are a couple of birthdays that are celebrated each year with just as much joy and fanfare as the days we were born. One of them is Christmas Day, when we celebrate Jesus coming to earth. Every year for as long as I can remember as a child we made a birthday cake for Jesus, and sang him the happy birthday song. The cake was always red velvet, and we jockeyed for the perfect position to be the one who blew out the candle first.

The other one is today. The 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Happy Birthday Marines!! November 10th has been a special day in our house as long as I can remember. I was born into celebrating this birthday with a dad who joined the Corps several years before I arrived on the scene. The military life is all I have ever known, and I love it. I love the celebrations, the toughness of Marines, the camaraderie and the tradition, the Marine Corps family, the adventures, the balls, the uniforms (nothing finer than guys in those uniforms!), the ingrained values of courage, honor and commitment, and the prestige of being a small part of one of the greatest fighting forces on the planet.

My dad chose this life in May of 1980, and for the next 31 years served our nation as a United States Marine. Even though he is now retired from active duty, he will never stop being a Marine. The same is true of our family – you can take the family out of the Corps, but there is no taking the Corps out of the family, especially not this one. Just come to our house sometime and you’ll see. 🙂 There is something special about Marines, something you only truly understand when you are a part of the Corps. I really don’t think I can put it into words. Dad was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant right out of college and then married my mom 2 weeks later. They immediately moved across the country from Arizona to Quantico, Virginia, and thus the adventure began. With duty stations following in Georgia, Arizona, Japan, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Northern Virginia (it really is like a different state up there), we definitely racked up our fair share of addresses, friends and adventures in those years.

I am so proud of my dad, and consider it an honor and privilege to be a part of both of these families. My dad, my grandfather, and so many other men and women I know have given their lives to ensure that we can be free. Freedom is not free, and I am thankful for their service and their sacrifice. It was not always an easy life, but it was full, and it was ours.

Thanks, dad. Semper Fi, and Happy Birthday!

Assuming Command of MALS-29 in Jacksonville, NC
Matt and my first Marine Corps ball in November 1998













In the early days....love the short shorts and the knee socks. 😉
The new "major" dad 🙂

2 thoughts on “A Very Special Birthday

  1. Baby Doll – thanks so much for such an honoring tribute to me and Grandpa and all Marines and their families in our “extended family circle.” It was a privilege and pleasure to wear the cloth of our nation, and my career would never have been successful without the love and support of mom, Matt, you, Allison, Drew, Grannie & Grandpa, Grandma & Grandad, and so many others who have woven themselves into the tapestry of our lives.

    I love you Baby Doll!

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