November 7, 2008


(This will probably be one of my longer blog entries.)

Jason and I attended his ball on Wednesday night. The day leading up to it was fraught with stress, fights (between me and my sister, not me and Jason), the big move hovering over us, and dealing with the less than stellar people in the moving offices. By the time cocktail hour rolled around either of us felt much like celebrating the 233rd birthday of the Marine Corps. But off we went, dutifully into the night.

It was exactly what we needed. The speeches by the Commanding General, the Commandant, and the guest speakers were amazing. Some of the phenomenal one liners from the evening were: "The United Sates doesn't need the Marine Corps; they want the Marine Corps..." "Unlike my generation of Marines, your generation wasn't drafted. You chose to stand up and promise to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic..." "The greatest thing in a Marine's career has nothing to do with the Marine Corps, and everything to do with the Marine Corps: his wife..."

They showed images of the Beirut bombing, of Iwo Jima, of all the small battles that we forget about; they capped it off with the images of 9/11. They reminded us all just how wonderful the Marine Corps really was. I cried for most of the ceremony, and looked at my husband in a whole new light. I walked away feeling truly motivated, but mostly lucky; lucky that I have a wonderful Marine of my own; lucky that he chose to do the unthinkable and become part of such a wonderful group; lucky that I've had him for this long; and lucky that he so believes in his calling.

(Our last Marine Corps Ball picture in North Carolina)

(My handsome Marine, who I could not be more proud of)

(The Marines guarding the birthday cake)

(From my tears)

(This table was very significant. It was set for all those who could not celebrate us. The candle represents the everlasting flame of life; the purple heart for the wounded, POWs, and MIAs; the upside down dishes are in their memory since they cannot dine with us; the spilled glass represents our spilled tears over their memories...)

(...and last but not least, the empty dog tags to remind us at that any time it could be our Marine)

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