On this glorious 245th birthday of our beloved Corps, we at Freedom Extracts wish every Marine a wonderful Birthday!!!! Semper Fi!! For our customers that are not familiar with this day, November 10th is the Marine Corps Birthday, a very special day in our history. Our birth place was in a bar at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia back in 1775. Each year on this date no matter where you are in the world, Marines past and present celebrate this day. It may be in a formal setting at a Marine Corps Ball, in a local VFW or down range on the battlefield, but Marines stop and recognize our long victorious history of being the nation's finest fighting force.
My first experience of the Marine Corps Birthday came at MCRD San Diego in 1996. As a "nasty undeserving Recruit", we were not allowed to take part in the Traditional ceremonies, however, we did sing happy birthday to all of our Drill Instructors while they thrashed us in the "Pit" and that's when I knew I was definitely a part of something that would be a part of my life for the rest of my days.
Throughout my years in my beloved Corps I attended Birthday celebrations in formal settings in Las Vegas, Southern California, Okinawa and Guantánamo Bay Cuba, and in my home state of Texas hosted by the Marine Corps League.
However, my most memorable Birthday celebration was on November 10, 2004 where a company of Marines were in the thick of it during the Battle of Fallujah. Our unit was out on patrol, some set up in defensive positions and others clearing houses and complexes in the most deadliest place on the planet at the time, all along trading bullets with our new friends that came to the party.
During all the chaos our Unit at home made damn well sure their Marines had a cake to cut. At around 1900hrs the "Bastards" picked up and pulled back to the CP braving small arms, RPGs and IEDs to consolidate into a bombed out wheat factory to take part in our Birthday traditions.
To start off, one of our fellow NCOs was selected to read the Commandant's message, the cake was brought out by my bro Sgt. Lee (pictured to the left) as we brought forward the youngest Marine as well as the oldest Marine. I was "ordered" to be the guest speaker and we all took part in the celebration and shared stories about how we would tell this story to our grandkids one day if we survived this deployment. It was a nice break from the madness of close quarters combat, but as we concluded the celebration, we picked up our weapons, strapped on our gear and headed back out into the night.
I remember patrolling down the main road and thinking about my fellow Marines from past conflicts that must have been thinking of the Marines that had come before them.
November 10, 2004 will always have a special place in my memory of the best Marine Corps Birthday I was fortunate enough to experience. Happy Birthday Marines!!!