Veteran's Day has passed, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors (at least they would be if we lived somewhere in the Midwest) and that can only mean one thing: it's Marine Corps Birthday Ball time once again! November 10th was the US Marine Corp's 234th birthday, and we got to celebrate in style last weekend with Matt's unit (MACS-4). This was the 5th Ball we've attended, and maybe we're a little spoiled - we're used to large banquet halls at fancy hotels in the heart of downtown San Diego. What I didn't realize (I guess I just never got to thinking about it) was that our Marine Corps Balls would now be confined to an on-base location during our time in Okinawa. Instead of being out in town in a hotel or other banquet facility, everyone's Balls would be taking place on one of the US bases here. That being said, I didn't expect much this year. However, I was pleasantly surprised!
Ours was located at the Officer's Club on Camp Foster (only a 10 minute ride from our house). Another perk was that we got to have it on a Saturday, which I didn't think was unusual until I started realizing how many other balls were taking place during the week. We got lucky, I guess! Beside being about half the size of the gi-normous (yep, gi-normous) ballrooms we are used to, everything was just as nice, if not better than in San Diego! The food was very tasty, the ceremony wasn't too long, we were able to see everything that was going on, the drinks weren't as expensive, the music was actually GREAT... oh, and did I mention I've NEVER seen such a large cake in my life?!? Since we are still new to the island and don't have too many friends yet, I wasn't sure how much fun I'd have this year, but that was better than expected as well!
Our new friends Lucas & Amber
One of my favorite parts of the evening was actually the Guest of Honor's speech. He made some really great points about life in the Marine Corps and how Marines and Marine families stand out among civilians as well as the other branches, which were SO true... maybe I'm a little biased:) A few of my favorite quotes from the night:
"To many civilian couples, the trauma of their day, decade or their lifetimes might be moving to another apartment. It might be moving to another state. But to Marine families, we take it in stride when we get orders to strange, remote islands in the Pacific. With the clothes on their back, a few pieces of luggage, no housing assignment, no driver's licence, no automobiles, and you just get on a plane and you go." (How true this is!)
"I can tell if you're a Marine...
...if you use the term "Good to Go" repetitively
...if half of your wardrobe was purchased from the Shopette
...if you actually think Motrin cures something."
"I can tell if you're a Marine spouse...
...if you learn about important events either minutes before they happen or days after they've already occurred
...if your Marine has PT gear dating all the way back to boot camp and freaks out if you attempt to throw anything away
...if your Marine complains that you have too many shoes, yet this same Marine has at least 15 pairs of identical combat boots and STILL eyes the latest ones when he walks into cash sales."
Sorry if that didn't make sense to some of you reading this blog (I know I don't usually bust out the military lingo), but let me just clarify - this guy was right on! Matt DOES still have clothes that he wore in boot camp (5 years ago!) and won't let me get rid of anything...even if it's literally falling apart! And I'm sure you can guess what he thinks of my growing shoe collection!
Hope you enjoyed the pics - 'till next time:) Happy Birthday Marines!
-Your FAVORITE Marine Corps couple:)