Tag: USMC

A Different Christmas Poem

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By: Michael Marks The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,

But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,

Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,

“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light.

Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”

“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”

Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam,’

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue… an American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,

Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,

Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,

“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?”

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,

For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,

To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

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Veterans Day: Freedom is Never Free

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On this Veterans Day we remember that freedom is never free. I wanted to pause to give thanks to all that gave some and the some that gave all to keep our country free from tyranny and oppression.

Also, let’s not forget that November 10th marked the 237th birthday of the US Marine Corps. A special note of thanks to my in-laws Inger and the late Jesse Baird who were both Captains in the Marine Corps. This is a special time of year because tomorrow we also celebrate my late father’s birthday. He was a Captain in the Webservices-Seattle US Army during the Vietnam era and would have been 68.

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Happy 236th Birthday United States Marine Corps

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Today we celebrate the 236th Birthday of the USMC. Let’s not forget the gratitude for their never-ending vigilance. May God Bless the United States Marine Corps.

 

The Marines’ 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 in 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. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. 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. Amen.

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Happy 235th Birthday, Marine Corps!

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The Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps present a message for the 235th birthday of the Marine Corps.

The Marines’ Hymn

From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

Our Flag’s unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes, You will find us always on the job, the United States Marines.

Here’s health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we’ve fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes,
they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

The Marines’ 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 in 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. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. 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. Amen.

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If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.

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Last week I watched my wife do the hardest think she’s ever done… no, not childbirth (I was there for that, too). As the youngest of four siblings she stood in front of dozens of friends and family pouring out her heart to give her beloved father’s eulogy. It was a magnificent and uplifting moment and I have never been more proud of Tanya. She shared stories across the emotional range from humor to sadness moving all members of the audience to get to know her Daddy just a little better. What she did reminded me of the Anthony Robbins quote, “If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.” Her father would have been proud.

My Father-in-Law was a retired Marine Officer and the family selected a full military service Atlanta-design-agency. It was a spectacular send-off attended by 10 young Marines in full dress uniform and their commanding Major. After a 21 gun salute a Marine played Taps on his bugle. It was a great moment of pride that our country pays respect to those that have served even if their service was in the 1940s to 1960s. The flag of the United States was meticulously folded 13 times and presented to my Mother-in-Law with the following statement, “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and Corps.”

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We remember Jesse F. Baird… May He Rest in Peace

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This past week my wife lost her beloved father, Jesse F. Baird, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 87 and lived a wonderful life surrounded until his last days by people he loved and that loved him very much. For those who have asked: services will be held at 12:45pm Thursday, at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

Visit his Memorial Website at Webdesigns-Tulsa

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