Happy Birthday, Marines

Today the TF 51/5 leadership team led the base’s cake cutting in honor of the Marine Corps’ upcoming birthday. In Marine Corp’s tradition, the oldest Marine took the first bite of cake and passed it to the youngest Marine.

The youngest Marine was born September 2000. While so many of us know exactly where we were on 9/11, this Marine was one year old—his path already set.

I sat beside another Marine who kindly asked me how to appropriately eat his lobster from the shell. As I turned to help him, I noticed a tall glass of chocolate milk. He grinned. “It’s my favorite,” he said. “We always have it for birthdays and this is my first birthday away from home.”

These are the men and women who fight our wars. Courageous, fierce, intelligent, and honorable—a fighting force of warfighters who wore diapers when the World Trade Center fell and who still sip chocolate milk at lunch.

This is who we ask to sign a blank check to America with their young lives. Let’s remember that as we celebrate the auspicious occasion that is the Marine Corps birthday, and may our Great Nation never lose sight of the men and women who say, “I’ll go. Send me.”

Happy birthday, Marines.

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