Happy Birthday, Marine Corps
Marines in action in Iraq, 2004
Today is the 231st Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
I got that in the mail today, for an odd reason.
But I woke up from a nap listening to Jim Lehrer give a speech at the opening of the Marine Corps Museum. I had no idea he was a former Marine, as is Mark Shields. Maybe that's why they routinely air the faces of the fallen at the end of their show.
But it reminded me of two stories.
One, when my father was overseas, he was only 17, and as the youngest Marine in his unit, he got to cut the birthday cake with the commander. And yes, they really have birthday cakes.
Which relates to my second story.
My friend, who was at basic artillery school at Ft. Sill, had a group of Marines under his command. Like me, his father had also been a Marine, but he hadn't told them that. When they went to him for permission to have their birthday celebration, my friend, the Army officer, looked at them and said "you want permission for a party?".
After they stammered to explain, he let them off the hook.
I think with so many Marines lying injured or killed, reminding people of their birthday, which is special to them, is a small thing. Americans have a nasty habit of forgetting the people who fight for them.
posted by Steve @ 7:56:00 PM