Every year on Nov. 10, Marine Corps veterans receive emails, calls and Facebook messages wishing them a happy birthday.
There are times throughout the year when we remember what it means to be a veteran, when we honor our fallen comrades on Memorial Day, or celebrate veterans on Veterans Day.
However, the Marine Corps birthday brings leathernecks back to a time surrounded by our brothers and sisters.
For me, it serves as more of a nostalgic day that reflects both Memorial Day and Veterans Day -- it's a time where Marines focus on their brothers in arms, remembering the good, and staring off into the distance as sorrow washes over them for all of their fellow Devil Dogs who gave their lives for our freedom.
It's a time spent remembering Marines gathering for a luau on Okinawa, or tossing each other around in the sand of Camp Pendleton for Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. Who could forget the setting sun on evenings in boot camp, marching in formation and realizing what you were about to become, or the moment your drill instructors presented you with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor?
This Marine Corps birthday, let's remember our fallen comrades while focusing on these wonderful memories, of the time spent enjoying each other's company and forming the bonds that hold us all together forever.
Reach out to your fellow Marines and let them know you're still there for them. Celebrate our great Corps. Watch "Full Metal Jacket," or whatever you do to remember the good old days. Eat some cake and, if you have kids, make sure they understand what you're celebrating.
However you choose to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday, have a happy one.