I dunno what it is about the Marine Corps, but it is too often that you see Marines barely in their middle ages looking like geriatrics. In all reality, it is simply a result of a life time of physical abuse to the body. All of those flak runs, hikes, deployments, hardcore PT sessions and binge drinking add up over the years, believe it or not. I recall returning from Iraq the first time, looking like I had aged several years in the span of 7 months. Physical and emotional strain on a daily basis are not actually good for the human body, believe it or not, and those decrepit SNCO’s and officers that just barely turned 40 are the result. I’m not saying it necessarily happens to everyone, in fact I would be willing to say that those who spend their whole careers in the infantry are much more likely to develop this rapid aging syndrome. Not, of course, to undermine the office life, but to further illustrate my point–that maybe it’s best to get out while you still have some youth left in you. (Or at the very least, LAT move)

With that said, I want to wish you all a Happy Birthday, Marines. As I’m sure you all know, as many of you have probably had your respective Marine Corps Birthday Balls already–Wednesday is November 10th, the 235th Marine Corps Birthday.

Balls are usually one of two things: an extremely boring, cesspool of uniforms and overpriced food; or an extremely boring, cesspool of uniforms and overpriced food inter-laden with random drunk outbursts from your company Gunny and your friends. My last and final Marine Corps ball was the only really fun time I’ve had at one, being able to drink with some unlikely people was an especially good time–as was walking to Wailana’s in Honolulu for pancakes at 2am in a drunken stupor.

Birthday Balls have a way of being either miserable or a lot of fun, but as with most things in the Corps–it’s only fun if you make it that way.

So I say to you all, have a Happy Birthday and make it fun.

Oh yes, and don’t forget–Thursday is Nov. 11th, Veteran’s Day. I remind you: Chili’s and Applebee’s, along with many other establishments, are offering free food to veterans and active military personnel (at participating locations, make sure you check). If you’re a veteran away from a major military establishment, go get some free food! If you’re stuck around Pendleton or some other hugely populated area of military, you’ll probably end up being better off eating at the chow hall–as I would expect these fine establishments will be packed beyond comprehension.