Robert, I think what Paul is telling you is that there isn't any such thing as a "former" Marine.
"Once a Marine, always a Marine."
Which means all those fat, bald guys down at the VFW who served us all in the Marine Corps are still Marines. Some of them limp, others have scars, visible and not. I salute them.
I am not a Marine, I can spell my name, thank you very much
, but it was my privilege to have served with Marines and served in support of Marines. As a group, their esprit de corps is unparalleled, and as a fighting force we can all be proud that the United States Marine Corps are at "the tip of the spear" ready to do our nations bidding. (I sometimes wish our leaders would be more careful in what they ask be done.)
Permanently stationed on my desk pen set is a medallion which was a "party favor" from the 50 year "Reunion of Honor" commemorating the Battle of Iwo Jima.
In addition to the medallion I have commerative Scotch glass from 214th Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Parris Island. The glass isn't permanently stationed on my desk, but it has seen its share of service.
I keep these mementos to remind me of the contributions and sacrifice made by individual Marines through history and around the globe.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES!!!