The Birthday Ball
I hadn't read your post from 2005 before. I just loved it. I can see why you'd be proud of that piece.
I served in the Marines between 1970 and 1972. I didn't go the the war. Even before my discharge I became extremely anti-government, anti-war and anti-Marine Corps.
I remain that way still, seeing not much of patriotism or heroism in our current volunteers as much as frustration and a lack of economic choices. I don't see them as the noble paragons of virtue they're often touted to be but rather saps who have been duped by the government.
Nevertheless, I can't deny the emotional attachment I feel for fellow Marines. Never does a November 10th go by that I don't reach out in some way to my fellows.
Your essay about the Birthday Ball ceremonies touched me deeply. I thank you for that.