The 241st birthday of the Marine Corps is November 10. All the branches make note of their birthday. They are all like ‘hey, yeah, it’s our birthday. Way to go guys. We are x number of years old. Go us. (total assumption, I really only know have experience with the Army birthday and their birthday balls were not as exciting).’ Not the Marine Corps. They take the anniversary of their beginnings very seriously. The Second Continental Congress established the Marines at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia in 1775. Since 1921, the birthday has been celebrated. The birthday ball started in 1925. These guys (and girls) really get serious about their birthday. Don’t be surprised if you see them wishing each other happy birthday all day long.
The celebration happens at the birthday ball. Balls are held all over the world, either on or close to the date. I’ve been to Army balls and Marine Corps balls and I have to say the Marines know what’s up.
A little recap of my balls. Ha! You know that’s funny. 2009 we were at Ft. Leonard Wood. They hold their balls at one of the resorts at Lake of the Ozarks, so an overnight stay is required. We had a baby and a 4 year old at the time, so a night away was a blessing. This was also before we all had smartphones to take pictures of everything. Hence the quality and the few pictures I actually have. We had a great time. I’m still in touch with some of those people.
The kids and I had arrived in Okinawa a little over a month previously. My dress was one that I bought before I left the states. I was at the store one day and it hit me that I would need a dress, so I’m pretty sure I bought the first one I found. That was also the year I decided I would do my own hair, conveniently forgetting that it doesn’t hold curl. At all. Oh well. We had a blast. I met some women that night that I became great friends with and were lifesavers during our time there.
Our ball was at the end of October because the unit was deploying. The advance party was actually already gone and missed the ball. I don’t remember tons about this night, but it was my favorite dress.
I had lots of heart to hearts with the husband’s Marines that night. He had told me stories about how these guys were marrying girls they met online from the Philippines and such, but had never met. He was wary of the situation and had asked for my advice. It got brought up at dinner and I let them know my honest opinion. Besides that, I don’t remember much about this night either, except that buying a dress at a local shop was not a good idea. Even after alterations, it didn’t fit quite right.
We didn’t go to any balls in California. The husband wasn’t in a regular unit during 2013 and there was other stuff going on in 2014. No more balls for us. You don’t know how sad this makes me.