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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Red stripes and yellow footprints

First, I must pay tribute to this picture. It was circulated over the Internet. From what I understand the passengers were asked to stay seated. Unknowing that a fallen Marine was being dis-embarked from the aircraft, they sat waiting to exit their domestic flight. When I first saw this picture it touched me very deeply. The cost of freedom and the seemingly ignorant and sometimes ungrateful masses. I salute all those who serve, regardless of the branch of service! Semper fidelis!

For all of you civilian types, the yellow foot prints are very symbolic to every Marine. The journey to both Marine Corps Recruit Depots (MCRD- San Diego and Perris Island) end at the yellow foot prints and one's life changing adventure begins. I can clearly remember the Marine in the smokey boarding the bus and hell came with him. The next several hours was marked by mass disequilibrium and extraordinary anxiety to say the least. Upon exiting the bus we were directed to a formation of yellow foot prints painted on the ground. At that moment we were oblivious to the importance created by yellow paint on a hard surface. We were standing in the foot prints of past warriors. Men who had fought, bled and died for our freedoms. When I look at the above picture, I can not help but wonder if that fallen Marine had stood in the same foot prints as me. The yellow foot prints, for me, are symbolic of a threshold into manhood. A threshold of self discipline and personal fortitude. A threshold towards life's coveted pillars: honor, courage, commitment, truth, and integrity. The yellow foot prints, although idle, were the beginning of a redirected life.

Our Drill Instructor had marched my platoon over to the administration area of MCRD San Diego and brought us to a halt. Standing as straight and motionless as humanly possible I brought my eyes up to met a unique sign hanging over an archway several feet ahead of the platoon. It read;
"A Marine must believe in his GOD, his COUNTRY, his CORPS, and HIMSELF"
I stood there thinking, man that is a lot of believing to do. The months at MCRD seemed to have lasted a life time. I thought I would never get through the constant bombardment of direction, orders, and discipline. Looking back over twenty years it seemed to go by in a flash. I am proud to have earned the title of a Untied States Marine and I look forward to standing my watch at the pearly gates. Our freedom to share our God has been earned! In the picture above, the red strip on the Marines trousers, the red strips on the flag , and the red strip on the American Airlines aircraft represent......well I think you know, that's why the picture was taken in the first place.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, "Semper Fi." Although I didn't stand on the same yellow foot prints you did, the ones I stood on represent the same thing. They too were the footprints of warriors past.
Always one of the Few...the Proud...ALWAYS A MARINE!.

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