Today is the Marine Corps' 236th birthday, so happy birthday to all of my fellow Marines out there!
Two weeks ago today, my husband along with the four other Marines who gave their lives in his battalion were honored in a memorial service conducted by his unit. It was such a nice ceremony, and it was great to be with his Marines. To hear the stories, some pleasant, some not so pleasant. I was given a few more details about the day of his death and how they had never expected him to pass from his injuries, but the Lord saw fit to take him that day.
At the end of the ceremony, the families had an opportunity to go up to their Marine's picture, boots, and rifle draped in dog tags with a kevlar carefully placed on top to have a moment. We also had the opportunity to take a moment and honor the other Marines. As I approached each of the Marine's pictures, I quietly bent down to tell Tyson about that Marine and what his name was. Luke was the last in line as they put them in order of date of death. When I got to his picture, we just took a moment to reflect on him, with the awkwardness of both Marines and people watching us. I wanted to spend a moment alone with not just my husband, but my fellow Marine.
As many of you know, I am a a former Marine. I have been out of the Marine Corps for almost four years now, but Luke and I met while I was an active duty Marine. We were married and had Tyson while I was in. It was a special bond that we had and I wanted to honor him as any other Marine would.
I would be naive to think that our Marine Corps worlds were the same, or even similar, but Luke was always very accepting and defensive of female Marines and those of us who are considered POG's (person other than grunt). He knew that every Marine was trained the same, deserved respect regardless of their gender and MOS, and he also knew that every Marine had a purpose and use for the Marine Corps.
He loved the Marine Corps, a lot. He loved his Marines, a lot. It was that love that made him the amazing Marine that he was, and still is as he lives on in so many hearts. Even though he outranked me, we would always tease each other, so happy birthday there, devil!