Semper Fidelis … Even in the Air Force

November 10, 1998 -- This pic was taken at a Marine Corps ball, a celebration I never missed during the entire time I was in the Corps.  Even though I joined the “dark side” (the Air Force,) I still love the Corps. November 10 is the Marine Corps’ birthday. Semper Fidelis!
November 10, 1998 —
This pic was taken at a Marine Corps ball, a celebration I never missed during the entire time I was in the Corps. Even though I joined the “dark side” (the Air Force,) I still love the Corps. November 10 is the Marine Corps’ birthday. Semper Fidelis!

I almost didn’t notice that today is 10 November. (Being in the ‘stan makes you lose track of time.)

For us Air Force folks, it’s no big deal. Just another day.

But, for a highly motivated, truly dedicated, ass-kickin’, foot stompin’, beer drinkin’, heel clickin’ little green amphibious monster, it’s the best day of the year … It’s the Marine Corps’ birthday!

Each year on 10 November, I used to put on my Dress Blue uniform, and go out with my fellow jarheads to paint the town red. Some years, I was fortunate enough to celebrate the Corps’ birthday in cool places like Canada, India, and even Israel. This year, I’m in the ‘stan.

Since I’m no longer an active-duty Marine, I’m not exactly sure how Marines who are here in the ‘stan are going to celebrate it. But one thing is for sure … they’re going to celebrate somehow! (Even if they have to take a milli-second away from shooting at the insurgents, they’ll take the appropriate time to sing the Marine’s Hymn and have some cake, at least!)

I owe a lot to the Corps. It made me into a man (sorry for the cliche’, but it’s true.) It also introduced me to a lot of new cultures and places. Most importantly, had I never gone to work at the US Embassy, I would have never met Muna.

When I tell people that I used to be a Marine, they’re always shocked. (Being an Airman is quite the other end of the spectrum from being in the Corps.) They often ask me why I switched services.

Basically, the Corps served it’s purpose for me … but as I grew older, I had to balance the rigorous lifestyle of being a Marine with my desire to raise a family. Joining the Air Force was a great compromise that allowed me to continue to serve while keeping my family happy, too. I don’t regret joining the Air Force, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t miss wearing my Marine Corps Dress Blue uniform.

And, I certainly miss telling my fellow Marines “Happy Birthday” on November 10 every year!

Semper Fidelis, leathernecks.

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