Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Yesterday marked the 234Th Birthday for the USMC. This year Paul and I are attending two birthday ball celebrations, one took place last night at the Taberna Country Club, and the other will occur on Saturday at the "Shilton" (was the Sheraton, now it's the Hilton, no one can get it straight),in downtown New Bern.

Last night's event was particularly fun. There was the usual pomp and circumstance, beautifully dressed ladies and gentlemen, a table set for the Marines no longer with us, a lovely dinner, followed by a traditional USMC birthday cake.

For those that don't know or have not experienced a traditional cake ceremony, the cake is escorted to the front of the ballroom to a slow rendition of the Marine Corps's very moving. Then, a slice of cake is presented to the oldest Marine present followed by a piece to the youngest Marine present.

Let me first say that in the last 18 years of attending Birthday Balls, Paul has NEVER had the honor of being the youngest or the oldest Marine in attendance. He narrowly missed being the youngest when he was a 2Nd LT. We were recently married and attending a ball in Okinawa. He was "saved" by the arrival of a slightly younger officer that joined our squadron, MASS-2, a couple of weeks prior to the ball. It was not a job anyone wanted, the Marine had to watch over the the squadron insignia, (which was apt to be stolen to mess with him as soon as his guard was let down).

Paul is now at the point where he is narrowly missing being the oldest Marine present. Last night, my 39 year old, Lt. Col. husband, was in fact, the youngest Marine present. The oldest Marine was a "China Marine"...served in China prior to WWII.

To put it into perspective, this year at our MTACS ball on Saturday, the youngest Marine was born in 1990!

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