The Marine Corps birthday was November 10, and I was invited to the Marine Core Ball that took place on November 17. I felt like I was at homecoming, but four years later, and surrounded by much better-looking guys.
The food was approaching fabulous — missed it by 2 points — but, the open bar hit its target. The ball was invite only; however it is definitely something that all people should be aware of.
Why? Because no matter what political party you root for, you can still learn something from the Marines who attended. As I sat at my table, I could not help but look at each individual Marine. I looked at their smiles, their eyes, their dimples, and focused on their youth. The Marines that I sat with were all under the age of 25 and have all done at least one tour of duty. In fact, every Marine at the ball had at least done one tour of duty– The youngest Marine being 19.
During dinner, I asked my date why he went to Iraq. He looked at me square in the eye and said, “because I was sent.” He then told me that he doesn’t believe we should be in Iraq, but he continued and said as a Marine you have to do what you are told and some things you’re going to hate and some things you’re going to be extremely passionate about.
Many would think that this is a simple and safe answer. Before November 17th, I would have agreed. But in that moment, I looked around and accepted it. I didn’t accept the war, but I appreciated and respected the men that fought for us. Whether they are for the war, against the war, or impartial, these men risked their lives for their country. If you are anti-war, take what I’ve learned — support your troops — maybe not the war, maybe not even Bush, but definitely support the people who give up their youth and their lives in so many different ways for their country.
Happy Belated Marines!!!