The Marine Corps is all of us, the ones who took the Oath, not just the good ones, not just the heroes, and not just those who served in combat.
It's the PFC guarding the gate, standing there in a cold rain at 0300.
It's the supply clerk, working at a keyboard keeping inventory.
It's the avionics tech, pushing a cart with tools and test equipment out to a helicopter.
It's the Reservists, doing weekends, training to keep up readiness.
It's the Colonel working in the Pentagon, writing reports and planning for contingencies which will never happen.
It's the wounded vet, pushed around the system, medically retired and unable to work.
It's the guys who served decades ago, who still put an emblem on the back window of their pick-up, still stand up when they hear the Hymn, and will always be proud of who they were and what they did.
It's the guys who went in after Pearl Harbor, mostly gone now.
It's the guys who went in after 9/11.
And it's the rows and rows of headstones.
We hold the history. We have the institutional memory. We have a million stories and most of them can be started with
What we are, what we cannot help but be, what we will always be, are Marines.
Happy Birthday, Semper Fidelis.