News: 2/7 celebrates Marine Corps birthday in Afghanistan
Story by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SABIT QADAM, Afghanistan – Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, came together to celebrate the Marine Corps’ 237th birthday at Forward Operating Base Sabit Qadam, Afghanistan, Nov. 10.
The battalion, like Marines stationed throughout the globe, celebrated the day on which the Marine Corps was created 237 years ago.
The ceremony began with an invocation from the battalion chaplain, the reading of the birthday message from the commandant of the Marine Corps, and the reading of Gen. John A. Lejeune’s birthday message.
After the messages were read, the Marines did a traditional cake cutting ceremony, where the youngest Marine and oldest Marine present share the first piece of cake, signifying the passing of experience and knowledge.
“I know how Marines look up to us in general, so that’s always a good thing,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Ricardo Hernandez, the oldest Marine present at the ceremony. “The biggest thing about this birthday is it’s during a deployment, which I think are always the best ones. It lets Marines realize that we do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It strikes home for them when they actually get to be in Afghanistan celebrating it.”
The oldest Marine’s sentiment and pride was similar to that of the youngest Marine present, Lance Cpl. Jershon Hernandez.
“It just felt good. It’s going to be one of the most memorable times of my career,” said the 19-year-old Hernandez. “Being in Afghanistan, being the youngest Marine and celebrating our birthday is something not a lot of people are going to be able to say they did.”
The deployed environment can be a difficult one, especially for an infantry battalion providing security for the region and training their Afghan counterparts. With operational commitments in mind, the Marines still took time to honor their Marine Corps tradition of celebrating the Corps’ birthday.