It is a common phrase that “Once a Marine…always a Marine.”
Even after the uniform has been folded up for the last time and stored into a duffle bag, a Marine’s well earned pride, courage, and dignity remains as part of their character.
It is hard to believe our oldest, Nathan, who served five years as a special op. Marine has been out of the Corp. for two years. The years seemed to go by so fast, but during deployments, it felt like we waited a lifetime. I still get chocked up remembering the Father’s Day we found out that four Marines were down from his unit. Names were not immediately released. I wondered if I really believed what I had thought I believed.
“Are God’s hands big enough to hold my greatest fear?”
I dared not leave the house till we knew for sure. The last thing I wanted was for one of our younger kids to open the door, finding the chaplain and Marine officer saying the words ..”We regret to inform you.”
I thought of all those who had said good-bye to sons and daughters, and knew it was the ultimate sacrifice that many generations before us have paid. Now, I wondered if I would have the courage to open the front door, should the black sedan pull into our driveway, or would I run out the back?
Thankfully, I didn’t have to find out. When Nathan’s unit pulled onto the base after traveling from Afghanistan, I prayed for comfort for those whose loved ones didn’t return, and thanked the Lord for those who did.
The other day, I saw a familiar gold trimmed sticker on the back of a window, right where I used to have mine. The Marine Corp emblem was surrounded by the words, “Proud Parent of a U.S. Marine.”
I wanted to salute the driver, most likely the mother, in gratitude for her sacrifice as well.Once a Marine’s mom…Always a Marine’s Mom.
For those who have lost loved ones, are currently serving, or have a family member in the service, I just want to take a moment to thank you on this Memorial Day.