I was a Marine. I am a Marine. The United States Marine Corps is a brotherhood that comes with lifetime membership. Once you go through their rigorous training and share their values, you’re in it for the long haul. You’ve all heard the expression: there are no ex-Marines ― only old Marines. Well, I are one. Somehow the pride, the discipline, the character, the camaraderie and the values that the Marines literally pounded into me last a lifetime. I am a Marine and will always be one.
Marines take pride in having values that set them apart from all other services. Values like honor, courage and commitment. A high sense of honor guides all aspects of a Marine’s life but it’s their courage that sets Marines apart from all other warriors. They have the courage to be stronger than their fears and the commitment and the determination to serve our country and their Corps, without waver or without question.
Senator Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) shows his bond to the Corps on his headstone. He didn’t want to boast about being America’s ambassador to Japan, a US Representative, a US Senator, our longest serving senate majority leader, or the recipient of our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The senator wanted only to be remembered as a Marine. His headstone at Arlington National Cemetery reads:
US MARINE CORPS
The Marine Corps’ motto, Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), distinguishes the Marine Corps’ lifetime bond from all others. A Marine goes through a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fidelis is their permanent reminder of that. So when you hear some old guy greet another with Semper Fidelis, you’ll know that he’s restating his commitment to the ethics and values of the Corps to a brother Marine.