What is it about the Marines?

veterans day_honoring those who servedWhat will you do on Veterans Day to honor our service men and women?  On November 11th, we will celebrate Veterans Day.  How will you honor those who have served?  When my daughters were in high school, they where in Air Force ROTC and spent their veterans day mornings as part of honor guards at veterans cemetery’s in our local town.  Three things really stuck in my mind as I remember back to those ceremonies—the men and women who attended these events took the the ceremony very seriously and showed the utmost respect and reverence.  They were also very appreciative of the young ROTC students participating in the honor guards.  The other thing I noticed was that there were only a handful of people attending the event. 

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 17,484,000 living war veterans.  It is my hope that on Veterans Day, all Americans take the time to, in some way, honor those who have served in our military.  Go to a veterans day parade, a ceremony at a veterans cemetery, or any type of activity honoring those who have served.  Please check in your local paper for Veterans Day activities in your area.


The Indomitable Spirit  I was trading emails with my friend Diana  sam and erin kissy_kissy_10_11_2008this last week, as she is a Marine, now retired. We both agree that it is nice to speak to someone that speaks the same language, in this case, Marine Corps. It is a life long association of a brotherhood; You are never an Ex-Marine, always formerly on active duty. As we discussed Sam and his condition, and her promise to keep him in her prayers; she asked, “What is it about the Marines?” That is an excellent question. I began to think of why they command respect, adhere to a high moral conduct, and maintain that bond with their comrades in arms, long after they are finished wearing the best looking uniforms of all the branches of service. Are we mentally conditioned so rigidly? Brainwashed if you will? Is it the fact that we all can shoot a rifle incredibly well? How about the fact that close quarter combat skills are permanently ingrained? Those are just fruits of the Marine Corps sam in marine corps hat_11_10_2008 tree. The one thing that sets Marines apart is their indomitable spirit; and their faith in an ideal. This is the one thing that Marines never lose, or give up, but only enhance as their experience in the Marines prepares them for life. They will stick to this ideal of love for God,  Country, and Corps; and will serve any Commander-in-Chief that is elected. And, as a last resort, will visit violence upon any and all of America’s enemies that may threaten that ideal…So the next time you have the privilege to see a Marine, go ahead and admire the probable fitness of the body and mind, and the sharpness of an impeccable uniform; but know that the Marine you see is special because of what he carries within….Today, (November 10th) is the Marine Corps 233rd B’day. Did you all know it is the oldest branch of all the services; even established before the militias of the revolutionary war? They were excellent riflemen and were used on merchant ships to fight pirates. All Marines still are riflemen first, and what ever their job is second. Yeah, even the Marine Corps band can put down their tubas and march into combat…The first Commandant of the Marine Corps was a man named….Yeah, you guessed it…Samuel Nichols….

This most assuredly includes Sam and Erin…Going on 16 months now, of progress and stalemates, and then more progress. This would wear down lesser people without the Faith and Spirit that are present in these two.  Fortunately for them they see an ideal even higher and more tangible than believing in the Marine Corps’ ideals…That of course, is the Faith they’ve been given by God for Sam’s healing, rehabilitation, and total restoration.  Erin still ramrods his daily tasks, and Sam still fights for every inch for Erin…It is a perfect symbiotic relationship. I saw them on Saturday, and they looked terrific…Sam has gone several days without an UTI and without any antibiotics…He is also pain free right now so his days are so much more pleasant. I was speaking with him as I overheard Erin explaining what a particular S&E Nov 8 '08 drug was for to a family member that has someone new in Sam’s ward at Kentfield. She is so sweet and helpful to the others that haven’t been through what she has in such a short amount of time…What a resource of knowledge she has become for the benefit of others. Sam’s newest gesture is to refer to comedy by slapping his knee…The picture is small and not really clear, as my phone broke that took such excellent shots; but I think you’ll get the idea nonetheless….

Much love,


12 Responses to What is it about the Marines?

  1. Danalee says:

    Sam, God bless you, on this our national Veteran’s Day. Keep the faith, Sgt. Semper Fi!

  2. soldiersangelswashington says:

    Sam…I’m forever grateful for your service and sacrifice.There isn’t a day goes by that i’m not thinking but all you’ve done for our world in your efforts to keep it safe and free. Sam, Erin, Eric and Tony & families…..you continue to inspire, humble and teach me so much. Thank you all for your continued service and sharing your journey with all of us. God Bless you all.

    Julie morelli
    Soldiers’ Angels

  3. Lisa Hall says:

    Thank-you for your service to this country Sam!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Erin always.

  4. Thanks Sam for your service and sacrafice to our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Erin, you and Sam give us such encouragement through your testimony of life together. God bless you both.

  5. Bob Fries says:

    I’ve been a lurker her for almost a year now and am constantly amazed at you and Erin’s courage. I have, however, to correct the notion that even the Marine Band can fight. As a former member of the President’s Own, I have to tell you that I never had a weapon in my hands other than my horn. There are even some who say that we really aren’t Marines but following your gallant fight to return to a productive life, I’ve found a new pride in having worn the uniform of the corps. I still, at 77 years old, use my talent and experience to honor all servicemen as a bugler at veteran’s ceremonies. You guys are an inspiration to everyone and I know that, with such spirit, you’ll have success.

  6. Lori Peoria says:

    Happy Veterans day Sam!

  7. The Kjenstad Family says:

    We are thinking of you always but especially today. Thank YOU, Sam! You, Erin and your families are always in our prayers.

  8. Aunt Joy says:

    I love you all so much, Happy Veteren’s Day. I am so proud of both of you!!

  9. Jeannie says:

    We just had our Marine Birthday celebration here at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Norfolk, VA. It was a wonderful celebration as our Marines are top notch! Happy birthday to all marines, may god bless you!


    Jeannie B. Kartis
    System Test Engineer
    Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Atlantic
    Norfolk, VA 23511
    757 443-0407

  10. Steve Marquez says:

    Hey Sam, Erin

    Just dropping by to say hey. Happy Birthday Devil Dog, sorry so late. Glad to here of the improvments. Love You guys. yut!

  11. I am hoping and praying for sam…God is good, I would like for Erin to read my latest blog to Sam, and I hope that they will be encouraged…have not forgotten about any of you. http://larrywiseman.blogspot.com http://baavolunteers.org

  12. Eric, Sam's Dad.... says:

    My blessings are too many to recount here; but feel I must thank God publicly for his many mercies and faithfulness to Sam and Erin over this past year. With every step forward, God has been there. With every step sideways or in place, I can see God’s signature all over it. With every challenge, God has been there to comfort, refresh, and reassure me that he hasn’t forgotten his promises to fully restore Sam for all of us. I thank him for Erin’s steadfast watch over Sam and her active involvement in his rehabilitation. Family love is just an extension and an emulation of God’s love for us; and I see that in Erin…I am thankful for the many people that serve Sam and Erin on a daily basis and ask God to bless them all for their service. I am thankful for the army of family and friends that hold vigil and pray for his total healing. Join with me today to offer special thanks for all of God’s blessings for Sam and Erin; and to us…..

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