I think it could be considered an understatement that...I travel a lot for work. I LOVE traveling, but I have to say that one of the best trips I have had so far happened last weekend. A few months ago (right after graduating from high school,) my nephew enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He spent about 13 weeks in basic training and this weekend was his graduation.
I was in Vegas for work and took the extra hop, skip and a jump down to LA where I rented a car and drove down to San Diego, where the Marine Corps basic training happens. I got to stay on base overnight, and watch a very cool morning colors ceremony all in preparation for graduation.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when the Marine Band played. They are so good! I can't believe how perfectly together they are--in EVERYTHING. You can tell that they practice A LOT together.
But by far, the best part of the weekend was the actual graduation ceremony. For those not as familiar with the Marines, it is largely led by tradition and ceremony--pomp and circumstance for the lack of a better term. All 500 or so recruits march in step by step.
They are so in line its basically impossible to see who is standing behind the person in the front of the line. When they march, its as if you only hear one clop of the shoe, rather than the 500 that there are in reality. When they respond to their drill instructor, its in complete unison. The closest thing I can compare it to is like the rushing wind, but thats all I can come up with!
Overall, it was an amazing experience and I'm so glad that I went. I only got to talk to my nephew for a couple of minutes, but he looks so good and I couldn't be more proud of him and the choices that he's making.
When someone close to you decides to enter the military, perspective definitely changes. I have nothing but the highest respect for the men and women who willingly serve their country.
Regardless of their reasons, they willingly put their life on the line so that I can be comfortable in my day-to-day life. Its amazing how quickly I forget the sacrifices that these brave men and women make so that I can enjoy the freedoms that I have.
Shortly before my nephew went to Boot Camp, he sang this song at a school event. Listen, and really think about the words. At least for me, I know they're true.
"There's only two people who've ever died for me.
Laid down their lives just so I could be free.
They both went through hell, bared crosses and shells.
And both got back up again after they fell.
They never pick a fight but they're there to pick up the pieces
God only knows where we'd be without soldiers and Jesus.
To Me they're both heroes for the path that they chose.
One fights for my life, one fights for my soul.