What a day it is indeed. I don't mention my own service all that often in the context of politics (I would rather win over others to my views with universal truths than with biographical details), but I'm proud to have been a Marine for 7 years, to have been deployed to Iraq twice, and above all to have served alongside such fine men and women that I did.
Their courage and commitment to their honorable mission in that country is worthy of more praise than I could hope to give in a lifetime. The veterans of the military, in my experience, have continued to embody all of the greatest traditions of American culture that have led our country to the prominent position it stands in at this time, even when those cultural traditions have been eroded in the larger society that they defend.
It is not through the troops on the ground, the air, or the sea, in cold outposts all over the world, that we have to fear the decline of ANYTHING that has made America great, and I proudly salute them for standing up for freedom, and thank all the others, too many to name, who have recognized the service of our veterans and the birth of our Corps during the past 2 days.
This year, two things drew my attention to the sacrifice made by the veterans of the Korean War in particular. First, in going through old papers on my desk, I noticed a fundraising letter from Clint Eastwood on behalf of the Korean War National Museum.
Second, one of the traditions of the Marine Corps Birthday celebration is the annual message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Dating back to 1921 and John A. LeJeune, the message that all other Marines have heard since then is read; however in modern years the current Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps produce their own video message to the Marines. This year, Commandant General James Amos and Sergeant Major Carlton Kent recognized the heroism of Marines in Korea. Here is their video in full:
Happy 235th, Marines. And happy Veterans Day to all who've served. This veteran salutes you.