235 Years Young (The Marines)
We have two sons and both decided to become Marine officers. Being a Marine dad is the most intense mixture of pride and anxiety I can imagine, and in fact you (or at least I) couldn't imagine it until you actually experience it.
On the one hand, your child has become a legend, because there really is nothing like the Marine Corps (not, as our uneducated president once put it, the Marine "corpse"). Just ask our enemies. During the first battle of Fallujah (2004) an intercepted radio transmission from an al Qaeda terrorist to his commander said it all:
"We are fighting but the Marines keep coming...We are shooting, but the Marines won't stop."
I could have told them that the Marines are trained to attack if ambushed. Hell, they're trained to attack, period.
On the other hand, precisely because they are always attacking, it's very hard to sleep, or to get your blood pressure anywhere near normal. You know that old saw, there are no atheists in the foxholes? Well it's true of their parents too. We pray a lot.
But today we celebrate. And we drink beer (the Marines were founded in a bar, and the tradition lives on; beer is served in the Marine Museum down in Quantico, which you should visit).
Happy 235th, guys and gals.