I realize that not all of the now well-over 200 subscribers are veterans, but humor me. Feel free to pass it on to someone who is, and thanks for your support.
We’ll get back to our usual subject matter next week, but today I’m thinking about the 247th birthday of the world’s finest fighting force.
I would be remiss if I allowed November 10th to go by without acknowledging the birth of the Marine Corps, and wishing happy birthday to all Marines, past, present, and future.
And of course, tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. I want to wish a Happy Veteran’s Day to all my fellow veterans. Thank you for your service.
But here’s what I have been thinking about. What if we reimagined Veteran’s Day? Yes, you can still be thanked for your service, change your profile photo, and line up for a free dinner at the Golden Corral if you so choose, but maybe we should use it as an opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves to our commitment to service.
I feel that those of us who have served still have an obligation to serve,
- As examples.
Examples of the best version of the citizenry that we once protected.
Examples of “What right looks like.”
Examples of the core values that we swore to uphold. It doesn’t matter what those values were:
Marines or Navy: - Honor, Courage, and Commitment
Army- Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Courage.
Air Force- Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do.
Space Force- Character, Connection, Commitment, and Courage.
Or Coast Guard: Honor, Respect, Devotion to duty (Yes, the Coast Guard is a member of the armed forces.)
The common thread in each of these is the obligation to be better.
To do the hard thing when the hard thing is the right thing to do.
To pledge devotion to the ideas that our country stands for, that each citizen is deserving of dignity and respect, and obligated to work to: “form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…”
To understand that the rights of citizenship come with the obligations of citizenship.
As veterans, we know that we won’t always agree, and we won’t always get it right. But, we know that we are better, stronger, and more capable when we work together.
So veterans, tomorrow, enjoy your day. Accept thanks graciously. Remember your service fondly, and recognize that while your service has indelibly marked you, you still have more to offer.
Raise a glass to fallen comrades. Raise your phone and let a brother or sister know you’re thinking of them. Raise expectations for yourself, and be better. Raise the bar as active, committed citizens dedicated to the principles we swore to uphold.
And tonight, Marines- Raise the roof! Semper Fidelis!
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Because it really is kind of important and you might learn a thing or two.
Write: For today only, the WRITE segment is switching to WATCH:
This video is the 1943 USMC birthday message.
Seventy-nine years ago, the nation was in the midst of WWII. Women Marines were newly authorized, African American Marines were joining the Corps, and America was committed against a common enemy.
This one is the USMC birthday message from this year. Today we face existential threats that our forefathers couldn’t have imagined, but addressing them will require the same commitment to excellence, fortitude, and esprit de corps that they demonstrated so ably in places like Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima. As a Marine Corps and as a nation, we are better for each Marine’s service.
Repeat: Words of wisdom from Marines who said it best.
"Come on, you sons of bitches-do you want to live forever?" - Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Daly, USMC, Belleau Wood, June 1918.
"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning." - Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.
"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps." - General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC, to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em." - Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC, Marine, 1962.
"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there." - Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.
As always I’d love to hear your thought, comments, or questions. If you know someone who might enjoy Think. Read. Write. Repeat. Please pass it on.
John, I love your writings. Service is the warrior infinte calling! Here's to Marines raising the roof..😂
Semper Fi and Happy Birthday Marine.