The last few months have been a continuous celebration of the Sea Services’ birthdays. Starting with the Coast Guard’s 232nd birthday celebration on 4 August, to the 247th birthday of the U.S. Navy on 13 October, and now the celebration of the 247th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps on 10 November. We take time to celebrate these special occasions because these pauses to wear our best uniforms, participate in formal galas, partake in cake cuttings, enjoy the suck of a great run, or build camaraderie with our peers is what shape our traditions by providing meaning and purpose to our cause.
While sharing common values in the intersection of our missions, each branch intentionally reaffirms a sense of direction, pride, and belonging during these birthday celebrations. Still, it is in each member to embrace the invitation and, more so, in each one of us to inspire our peers to connect with the reason that brought us to service. Even if the reasons that brought someone into the service were egocentric, most Service Members during their time in uniform have had a moment in which sacrifice makes sense. Whether this is because of family, peers, honor, respect, or just confidence, the reason to serve that gives meaning to all we do comes alive and leads to transcendence.
As recipients of the appreciation and gratitude of our nation on Veterans Day, this is a perfect time to connect with the reason to serve for whatever term we wore or are still wearing the uniform. The smile on the face, the gut feeling deep inside, the tear or almost emotional outburst that connects with memories, are part of the range of reactions during ceremonies, special meals, or a “thank you for your service” echoes in our ears. Today on Veterans Day, the combat spirit is revived, sacrifices re-framed, allowing our unique narratives to place us back to the first day we stood ready to serve.
We celebrate what Veterans and military families have done to support and defend our constitution, flag, and citizens. Today, as we hear someone expressing their appreciation or the sound of our Star-Spangled Banner, may we connect with the legacy of military service of those who have served, are currently serving, or are preparing to join our fight with honor. We join our ANSO members, partners, and leaders to wish you a Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your dedicated service to our nation!