"There is no better friend...and no worse enemy than a United States Marine."
I look forward to the annual birthday ball every year.
A lot has changed since my first ball 8 years ago, but what impacted me the first time impacts me today.
I love beginning the evening with an invocation. Praying with hundreds of Marines is powerful and humbling.
The moment of silence for the fallen has become personal. We now have friends to remember when we pause.
The words of the speakers vary, but knowing that others have walked this difficult path is a comfort and hearing their wisdom and encouragement means so much.
Seeing the familiar faces of friends probably means the most to me. In a journey that often feels lonely, being surrounded by the laughter of friends is wonderful.
(And who wouldn't love the chance to dress up for a night)
Happy 240th birthday, dear Marines.
You are forever in my heart.