With all that is going on in the world and public upset at things all I keep thinking about is how grateful I am for the things in my life. I guess as I get older, now 45 years old, I have a different perspective on life or maybe my perspective is just maturing.
I am feeling ultra patriotic this year. I have always celebrated Veterans day on November 11th as well as the Marine Corps Birthday on November 10th. I joined the Marine Corps right out of high school in 1989 with a friend of mine with whom we still keep in touch (thanks Facebook).
I am extremely proud to have served in the Marine Corps for a total of 8 years all in. I am honored to have been able to serve and felt not only was it my duty, but what I need to do to be a part of this great County.
I was able to travel throughout the world at a very young age and see and do things many people never get to do. They are still fond memories that I talk a lot about with my buddies from the service. It is especially nice on the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day to see my old friends posting all the old photos from back when were much younger, serving our Country.
My wife is always good about pulling out all the photos, you know, the ones that you used to have to get developed? All of our old photos online are just pictures of the pictures we take with our phones.
I light our house up green for the entire week that Veterans Day falls on. Our American Flag flies year round, but I add the Marine Corps flag during this week as well and might just leave that up year round as well.
I am grateful for being able to close my business on Veterans Day. Today, after I sit here and write this article, I will be loading up the RV and heading out to Carpenteria for the weekend with the family. Camping in the RV on Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas has become a bit of a tradition with us.
This year my daughter who is now 20 was accepted by some of the top colleges in California. She was accepted to all she applied for including Berkeley, USC and UCLA & UCSD and after visiting all the campuses she decided on UCLA. She is now in her first semester as a Junior and I tear up thinking of how proud I am of her. I am glad she is close by so we can visit frequently.
I am grateful that my wife has stuck with me going on 21 years through thick and thin and the good times and the bad times and oh boy, has there been some bad times.
I am grateful for my family, my children and our health.
The title of this post is “On Behalf Of A Grateful Marine This Veteran’s Day 2016” for a reason.
About a year ago I learned that I could apply for Military service related disabilities from injuries received during my deployment in the Marine Corps. I never thought to do this, especially 20+ years later.
But after learning of it, I did apply and was classified as 10% disabled from these injuries. Because of these injuries I was able to apply for a tuition fee waiver for my dependents through Cal-Vet.
About 1 month before my daughter was to start UCLA I received a letter from Cal-Vet that started with, “On Behalf Of A Grateful Nation” and then went on to state that we were approved for the tuition fee waiver.
What an unbelievable benefit from a Great Country and the Amazing State of California. My wife and I are still shocked that this type of benefit exists for those who served in the Armed Forces.
So to everyone who may have come across this article, take a step back and think of all you are grateful for. Life throws us a lot of curveballs and is full of setbacks. But in the grand scheme of things I am sure you can find things to be grateful for.
Have an amazing Veterans Day weekend.
Below are some more random photos.