Old Corps, New Corps

One mother, confessing she never thought her daughter would be able to make it through boot camp, welled up with tears and couldn’t talk anymore.

One dad, a fellow Marine, talked about his graduating son, and I saw the same pride-fear emotion that I felt.

One 16-year old boy wearing a “My Brother Is A Marine” T-shirt told me he is joining the delayed-entry program as soon as he turns 17, with his parents’ permission.

On graduation day, my hope soared higher when I witnessed thousands of family members who had come to watch their Marine march past. The transformation in their young man or woman was amazing. I watched several parents walk right past their son or daughter, looking for the timid, unsure youth they knew, but discovered instead a tall-walking, respectful, self-assured young American.

Why have I taken my time to write these columns, and yours to read them? Because these young Marines, and members of all of the other military services, are important. They stand prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice so the rest of us can continue to enjoy the freedoms and privileges too easily taken for granted.

Many of the protected may never know the great sacrifices of the protectors. If these young men and women are brave enough to stand between us and the wolf at the door (and there are wolves out there!), we must be brave enough to support them up or at the very least show our appreciation.

Next time you see a young man or woman in uniform, please take the time to thank them for their service. It is a small gesture that doesn’t cost anything but a moment of time, but will mean the world to them.

Semper Fidelis!

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, who also served until recently in municipal parks and recreation, lives in Peachtree City, Ga., and can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email cwo4usmc@comcast.net.

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One comment on “Old Corps, New Corps

  1. Daryl Zappe on said:

    Thank you so much for your service! Thank you for all articles on the Marine Corps. I will always try to do my best to thank those brave young men and women in uniform; for it is them (and you) that give us the freedom to live in the greatest country on earth. I hope that you will write more about your time in the Marines.

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