WHAT AN HONOR….
I was looking for a patch (MACS-2) for my Marine Corps League jacket for an outfit that I served with from 59-61 at Kaneohe Bay and wasn’t having much luck. I searched the internet and found out that the Squadron was at Cherry Pt. NC, another base I had been stationed at twice. Thinking that they might know where I could purchase one, I wrote them. Not only did they know where, but they sent me the patch and a challenge coin along with an invitation to attend their Change of Command Ceremony on 16 June, 2011. This was something I could not resist.
I am honored and privileged to say not only did I attend, but was treated like a celebrity. I was assigned an escort, 1st Lt. Chandler, for the entire day. We toured the MACS-2 site as well as the base itself, attended the ceremony and participated in the social event following. This was all arranged by the Squadron Adjutant, 1st Lt.Keramidas. My visit also including spending a short time with outgoing and incoming CO’s, Lt. Col. Chris Richie and Lt. Col Darry Grossnickle.
At the end of the day, I was privileged to meet with about 20 of my fellow “enlisted” in a conference room and just have a general bull session about life now and how it was 50 years ago. To say that things have changed is a “sticker shock”. However, one thing I did learn, is that the Marines of today are just as proud and just as dedicated as we were. Sure, we old salts always believe we had it harder, but that doesn’t matter, because the one’s that came before me can say the same thing.
The one thing that I stressed to them which they will learn later on, no matter if you serve 4 or 30 years, ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE…..