As I get the email messages, phone calls and FB posts celebrating the Birthday (more for the MC Birthday, than my own which is the 7th), I can’t help but realize how everything has changed to me.

The Marine Corps Birthday used to be about getting drunk in my Dress Blues, but now it has a somber overtone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had the upmost respect for the Marines who sacrificed everything for our country, but now it’s not just names and stories, its friends and brothers. These wars have made it much more personal for me. Burying some brothers in Arlington and watching others come home a shell of what they once were, hits me especially hard today. I’m truly humbled to be associated with this brotherhood and to have had the great honor to stand beside some of the most courageous Men that have ever worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Now, I know some of the Men that are guarding Heaven’s Streets.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

So, as we all celebrate our Birthday today, let us raise our glasses and toast all of the Marines who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this great Nation and our way of life.

Semper Fidelis

Kit Up! contributor Bill Janson is a former Recon Marine and is the founder of Eleven 10, a tactical gear manufacturer.

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