Indigo Insights

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Been putting off writing about the bitter disappointment of July 4, 2005 all day.

Everything was on "go" for Monday morning when I went to bed Sunday night. I had laid out my "uniform" and pinned on my "ribbons" the night before in preparation for a smooth execution of ETD. But through a comedy of errors and classic communication breakdowns, I didn't get to Camp Lejeune for the Annual Celebration. Great expectations and preparations came to a cruel, disturbing conclusion. I was alternately irate, PO'd, hurt and heart sick all day and night yesterday. But in another lesson of "things aren't always what they seem to be", today I learned that a kind Cosmic Entity had intervened in my behalf and spared me a terrible experience.

There was no Marine Corps Band Concert, no raising of the flag on Mt. Suribachi, no cannons accompanying the 1812 Overture, and, according to my eye witness, not even a large representation of Marines and community supporters. On the face of it, one would think that PC has attacked our beloved July 4th celebration. Whatever could be the reason for a North Carolina Symphony orchestra ursurping the usual inspiring patriotic exhibition? Who is the PR person who has "been trying for years to get the symphony for 4th of July"???? The grapevine tells me the PR person is a woman and I guess she is in reality shock today after the poor reception the show had. There was enough in the local newspaper in advance of the 4th to indicate that the USMC Band would not be on hand -- and hey!! -- that would have done it for me, had I known. If thousands of Marines, their families, and community supporters had wanted a symphony tribute to Broadway shows, they could have gone to Raleigh instead of Jacksonville. (For reports of a traditional Lejeune 4th, see Archives for July 4 [or 5] 2004 and 2003.)

But I have adapted and overcome and found a good Marine story for you. Read about the Ragin’ Cajun.

AL ASAD, Iraq (July 4, 2005) -- In January 1996, a young man from New Orleans enlisted in the Marine Corps without a high school diploma. Less than six years later he had a college degree and was a second lieutenant. He wasn’t done.

“Why get out of the Marine Corps and go to school when you can take advantage of the programs the Marine Corps offers,” said Robinson. “[The Meritorious Enlisted Commissioning Education Program] is a great opportunity for Marines who have some college background and are looking to enhance their professional development while still wearing the uniform. The Marine Corps opened the door for me, but MECEP changed my life forever.”

Go over and read the entire article. It's a good one.