Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." ~ Ronald Reagan

Today is going to be one of the toughest days in the life of my blogging friend, Dixie. Even though she has known for quite some time that this day was coming and has had plenty of time to prepare for it, that isn't going to make it any easier or any more bittersweet.

Today is the day that Dixie's son, Matt, begins his journey to becoming one of the few and the proud as he ships out to Parris Island, South Carolina to begin basic training as a U.S. Marine.

MattThe United States Marines hold a proud heritage which began on November 10th, 1775 when the Continental Congress drafted a resolution to create a new military unit called the Continental Marines. This resolution was drafted in a popular Philadelphia inn called Tun Tavern and was later approved by the entire legislative body.

Since then the Marine Corps has fought in every single American armed conflict, from the American Revolution to Operation Iraqi Freedom, where they have been revered and feared for their prowess in combat and their dedication to duty. The Marines are considered the world's premier warriors, head and shoulders above the crowd, and there is a very good reason for that.

Marine Corps EmblemThat very good reason lies in each individual Marine. A person doesn't join the Marines, though roughly 40,000 try each year; a person becomes a Marine through the ordeal of training that sculpts each individual in body, mind, and spirit. Once an individual has earned the title and enters the Brotherhood of Marines he or she then draws upon the legacy of the Corps - the legacy of honor, courage, and commitment.

It is those three values -
honor - exemplifying the ultimate standard in ethical and moral behavior
courage - honor in action
and commitment - total dedication to Corps and Country
that make up the bedrock of the character of each individual Marine and this in turn makes up the foundation of the Corps. Each of these three values has been handed down from generation to generation and are what makes the U.S. Marines Corps the Warrior Elite - the most respected and revered fighting force on earth.

Marine Corps EmblemDixie's son Matt has chosen one of the most honorable paths that a boy can take on his way to becoming a man and though her heart will be breaking when she gives him that last hug and kiss good-bye, Dixie can take the ultimate pride in knowing that her son made a conscious and free decision to dedicate his life to the service of his Country and his fellow man. He leaves her today a boy and yet will return to her a man who has earned the right to stand tall as one of a few good men.

US Marine & American flagI salute both Matt and Dixie for their service to our country. May God watch over them both not just today but always. Semper Fidelis!

The Marine Prayer

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones, and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family.

Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my Country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.

If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again.

Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.

If you haven't already done so and would like to leave Dixie a message of support and encouragement, please go by Dixie's Heart & Soul and give her a big ole' OOH-HA for Matt!
Tell her an ex-Airman sent you and couldn't be prouder!


  1. Well-written, Linda! For an Air Force brat & veteran, you sure nailed it for the U.S. Marines. I wish Matt nothing but good on his journey through "boot camp". Oh, to be 20 years younger & NOT "4-F"!

  2. Anonymous1:18 PM EDT

    Thanks for writing this Linda. Very nicely done. You always have so much information in your posts. I went over and left a message for Dixie.

  3. Best of luck to Matt and may God watch over him and keep him safe!

    I have nothing but the greatest awe and respect for men like him. It takes great courage and commitment to devote yourself to your country likr that!

    And Dixie, if I were you I'd be getting my prescription for Valium filled now.....

  4. Anonymous8:12 PM EDT

    wow, what an honor. I hope Matt has a great journey.

  5. To matt, congrats are in order. Tha Marines have not lowered their standards, but have remained true to their character and mission as always.

  6. What a great post, Linda. My heart goes out to your friend, Dixie. I can relate back to 14 years ago this coming November when my daughters and I took my favorite son, their only brother, out to dinner over in Dubois prior to his boarding a bus bound for Pittsburgh and his long journey over the next four years in the wonderful Army -to learn to be all that he could be! When he boarded that bus, I confess I had to walk away, over to my car where I sat with my head down so as not to see the bus pull away from the terminal. The girls stayed behind, waving to him but I just couldn't watch that bus leave ya know. Fortunately, he came back several years later - all pretty much in one piece too - but not without a lot of teary phone calls, letters back and forth, etc and missing my baby boy a whole hell of a lot too!
    Here's hoping Dixie and Matt have the same good fortune my girls and I had and that he returns to her no longer the little boy, or goofy teenager but instead, a man, ready to tackle anything and everything life throws at him.

  7. You are just the nicest person Linda. I've already done hugs and smooches. Have a great day. :)

  8. good post linda, this young man has the blogosphere supporting him, he will not let us down......

  9. Here at your blog still at a loss for words. Sitting here on the hotel computer. I didn't bring mine... can't hardly type for all the tears.

    Thank you so very much for this beautiful post.

    I'll be back on Tuesday night to post from the hotel in Pulaski.


Thanks for visiting!