I'm going to take a moment to wish everyone out there a very Happy Easter. Easter is one of those days that really forces you, no matter how religious you are, to sit there and look at an honest reflection of your life.
Whether the Easter story is true or simply fable to you, the power of the story causes you to think about your own life. What do I have in my life worth suffering and dying for? Who in my life would do the same for me? For me personally, knowing that in my hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa, my mom and dad are sitting in church, praying for me, my friends and my Marines, comforts me. Knowing that sitting here, 2,000 miles away, I can go up the street and my friends and my friends' families will invite me in for an Easter brunch, not even blinking at setting an extra plate out, comforts me. And knowing that while I was 10,000 miles away in both Iraq and Afghanistan, on days like today, that I had five nieces and nephews praying like only 6 year olds can pray (for me to come back from 'Africa'), and that my safety was on the hearts and minds of thousands of people I've never met, comforts me.
So many times people ask me why I joined the Marine Corps, and most often I give some cookie-cutter answer, like "didn't feel like wearing a suit," "patriotic duty," or the best one "Uncle Sam called, I just picked up the phone" (I have obviously NEVER used that last one). But the truth is, I joined because there are bad people in this world, whether they're bad because of daddy issues, religious issues or "damn life sucks because I was born in Afghanistan" issues, and, as I look at all the people in my life- my family, friends, and neighbors, they're all good. I joined so that the people that God has blessed me with, all the good people that love me, will never, ever, have to cross paths with those that would do them harm. I'm not writing this to garner kudos, I'm putting this all out there as a thank you to everyone special to me. Thank you for blessing my life and giving me something worth fighting for.