The Marine Corps birthday is coming up, which means that ball season has begun. This weekend, one of those birthday balls led to an incredible moment that exemplifies the Marine Corps brotherhood perfectly.
James Brown, a Marine Corps veteran and chair of the Wine Country Marines birthday ball, held their annual ball, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Semper Fi Fund. Legendary Marine James Mattis was the keynote speaker, and over $125,000 was raised. But it wasn’t Mattis’ speech or the fundraiser that’s been getting attention.
Each birthday ball has a number of traditions. The birthday message is read, the birthday cake is cut, and the first slice always goes to the oldest Marine present. The oldest Marine then presents the next slice to the youngest Marine — and it was during this tradition that the emotional moment happened. Because at this ball, the youngest Marine present also happened to be a wounded warrior, a triple amputee. He needed help accepting the ceremonial slice of cake, so 1st Sergeant Angelleonardo Gomez and Sergeant Major Larry Liechty helped hold Corporal Jason Hallett while the oldest Marine, Colonel Loren Eldred, held his plate for him.
The espirit de corps of the Marines could not be made more clear than it is in this photo.