Happy Birthday Marines

Happy Birthday Marines
by Sgt. Gary J. Holford Jr.

With a heavy heart I watch my brothers on the television every day
Fighting bullet wounds and explosions and whatever else passes their way

Wishing I could be there with them but secretly thanking God I?m not
It?s not because I am a coward my scars prove I can take a shot

Was just a seventeen year old kid when I chose to join the ranks of the elite
A lost punk kid roaming around finding nothing but trouble in the streets

One day I stepped off of a bus and yellow footprints were filled by my shoes
In desperate need of direction I was scared but had nothing else to lose

They shaved my head slimmed me down and packed on pounds of lean
Like all the commercials promise they turned me into a fighting machine

More important than that but hardly ever mentioned they turned me into a man
In just 13 weeks they did the job that in 18 years a lot of parents rarely can

I was taught respect honor courage commitment and how to walk to a cadence
Scary to think where I would have ended up if it wasn?t for their guidance

Today I am a father of five who?s happy and proud to be their example
For that reason alone I chose to stay home so that they can have lives that are ample

But everyday I put on my ring and today our emblem on my shirt I wear
To show everyone who made me who I am that I?m grateful and I still care

I feel sorrow for all the people who?ve never known what it means to belong
To a band of brothers where no ones a stranger for one another we stand strong

Gathering today to tell our stories and pay respects to those who?ve died
Proving still to this day that their souls live on as we bark out Semper Fi

No matter where you are or how you?re connected to this surrogate family of mine
Which to me includes any man woman or child who?s devoted their love and time

To a Devil Dog guarding the gates of heaven here on main land or stationed over seas
From the bottom of my heart I wish you all Happy 233rd Birthday Marines!

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