CHERRY POINT, N.C. - The Secretary of the Navy joined the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's Marine Corps birthday ball celebration in New Bern, N.C., Nov. 7. The honorable Mr. Ray Mabus served as the guest of honor during the ceremony celebrating the Corps' 237th birthday.
“I am very happy to be with you all tonight, very happy to see 2nd MAW here at your home, just as I was very happy to see you forward deployed in the two visits I made with you in theater,” said Mabus. “Tonight is all about history, tradition, heritage – as it should be. The Corps has an unbroken line from that day in 1775 for 237 years protecting America, defending freedom, standing for the principles that made the Marine Corps great.”
Mabus makes an effort to see Marine battlefields around the globe to see the history first hand. He’s been to Guadalcanal, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, and recently returned from his tenth visit to Afghanistan, where he expressed his appreciation for Marines fighting in the present day.
2nd MAW (Forward) is slated to deploy again in early 2013 as one of the final combat deployments in support of operations in Afhganistan prior to President Obama's proposed withdrawal timeline. Maj. Gen. Glenn M. Walters, commanding general of 2nd MAW said the deployment will add to the Corps' rich history.
“For 237 years, Marines have gone to the sounds of the guns,” he said. “We are proud of our service in time of conflict, and our upcoming deployment to Afghanistan is another chapter in our proud heritage of answering the nation’s call.”
After the official ceremonies and the traditional birthday meal, one Marine reenlisted. Cpl. Wilfredo Cieza, a supply administration clerk with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, said he wants to remain a part of the 237 years of brotherhood, camaraderie and history.
“I think every Marine takes part in Marine Corps history, I’m just doing my job every day to support and keep that readiness,” said Cieza. “To me, it's tradition, history, and everything the Marines and the Marine Corps has ever done for the United States, and I’m just hoping we can carry it on.”