The firm jaw

Events happen everyday that remind us why our country needs a standing military that is always ready to respond.

(CBS/AP) Beirut, Lebanon – A truck full of explosives ripped through the Marine barracks on October 23rd, 1983, killing 241 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers.

That was almost 27 years ago… I was 16 years old.  One of those young Marines was from our church youth group and our families were very close.

There are a few things from the memorial service that I’ll never forget.  One of them was watching the Marines in their dress-blues performing the flag-folding ceremony with absolute precision.  That scene was overwhelming.

The young Marine that presented the folded flag to George’s mother made quite an impression on me.  It was a very emotional moment and his composure was unbelievable.  But as he stood holding the flag, I could see his jaw muscles quivering, doing everything possible to hold back emotion.  I saw sadness and resolve at the same moment.

The Marines are without a doubt, a special group.

My first-born is at Parris Island as I write this.  He’s in boot-camp until the end of August, when he will graduate as U.S. Marine.  This is something he was built for.  He’s wanted to do this since he was 14 and  I will never forget his smile and the look of excitement he had at 4:00 AM being picked up by the Marine Sergeant a few weeks ago.

As I’m reading the letters he’s mailing to us (the only form of communication for 13 weeks), I realize that he hasn’t lost one bit of excitement for what he’s doing.  My son has an unbelievable drive to achieve the goal during the next four years of becoming a Marine officer… and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

So as I remember sad times of sacrifice from the past, I’m  also reminded that we have the finest young men defending the future of our nation and our liberty.  And they do it everyday.

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