I have spent most of my adult life in the Marine Corps so being here at Camp Pendleton on the beach holds a different excitement for me than it it does for Jowanna. All the training exercise here are very exciting to her and she marvels at the number of young Marines PTing (doing physical training) during their lunch time or at the end of the work day. The look on her face takes me back to a time when I was one of those Marines but not so young. In retirement I get to see the advances in training on both the educational and physical side. The changes in uniforms and equipment; changes that make their jobs easier and more technical.
Watching my Marine Corps grow, improve and advance is heartwarming. I must admit I do miss the Marines except for PT. As an old rotorhead, helicopter marine, I love the sound of the Osprey and Hueys over head and the AAVs (assault amphibious vehicle) entering the water. So being caught between her excitement and my sentiment has allowed me to know that Marines and the Corps will always cause my heart to race and a tear come to my eye. Semper Fi!!!