In Honor of Veterans' Day and the U.S. Marine Corps' Birthday

Posted by Vida Gecas
November 10, 2008
Marine Corps War Memorial

About the Author: Vida Gecas serves as Branch Chief of the Marine Security Guard program in the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

When flames engulfed part of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade last February, they stayed in the attack zone. Even as a mob of dozens of demonstrators approached the embassy walls, they did not evacuate. Instead, the U.S. Marine Security Guards stood their ground, protecting their chancery and sensitive materials inside.

Marine Security Guards (MSGs) are often the last ones to leave a dangerous situation, because they are the first line of security for diplomatic personnel, facilities and critical information. I know this first hand, because I am the Branch Chief of the Marine Security Guard program. And this November I ask that everyone salute MSGs twice for their tireless work: on November 10th, when the U.S. Marine Corps turns 233 years old, and on November 11th, Veterans’ Day.

The U.S. Marine Corps celebrates a long history including a strong relationship with the State Department. The current arrangement where Marines protect our embassies and consulates dates back to 1946 when the Secretary of the Navy enlisted Marines to serve as custodians at embassies, legations and consulates. The first MSGs, were deployed to Bangkok and Tangier in 1949. And though times have changed since then, MSGs' mission has not. They continue to protect everyone and everything that enter U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world, around the clock. They defend American interests during attacks like the one in Belgrade, but also help prevent such attacks from happening. In fact, many of us will never know the extent to which MSGs keep us safe.

This is not to say that MSGs go unnoticed. While their long arm of security is sometimes invisible to the naked eye, they serve alongside us in remote outposts, major capitals, and war zones all over the world. They’re just part of the thousands of U.S. Service members - including those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice – who we honor each Veterans’ Day. That’s why on November 10th and 11th we salute MSGs and all in the military for their duty and sacrifices.



Virginia, USA
November 11, 2008

Donald in Virginia writes:

10 Novemeber 08


Coming from a Veteran Sailor who has steamed on two United States Warships will say, "Go Marines!!!" We are all apart of the same brotherhood that exists.

I will never understand all the things Marines do, but then who does? The point is they have done wonderful things for our country.

The United States Navy and Marines will always have something that most branches in the Military will never have, They know going in they hate each others gutts but in the end its more like a brotherhood that exists!

God Bless the United States Marine Corps and may they continue serving the United States Proud!

Akinoluna M.
November 11, 2008

Akinoluna (A Female Marine) writes:

Aw, thanks!

Florida, USA
November 11, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

This posting is an important reminder for us all. Thank you to all the Service members who risk their own safety to protect us and our country. I salute you.

Phil B.
Wisconsin, USA
November 11, 2008

Phil in Wisconsin writes:

I am 51 years old and have missed any call up and confrontation. I sit in my doubled armed computer chair and count my blessings. Full respect given.

November 11, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Akinoluna -- I apologize for what it follows. I am not a poet, but I felt like writing a humble "salute".

Froggers here and everywhere
Real soldiers anywhere

Sea, air, land and capture em
Seals are here and never "them"

This is why I love to sing
On the ground, I love to swim.


That's why I want to fly
Cause I like to walk on by.

I watch the Atlantic Sea,
and I love to see Paci(fic)

Here are the U.S. frogs
Always soldiers under fogs


That's why I love the Seals
Nothing Ends until we seal(s)

This is the U.S.A. Marines
Helping seas to have some Peace

Here's also G.I. Jane
she is a real hurricane


We travel by pain,
and we also have a brain

This is the USA Seals
All the rest will need some pills

(I apologize for my poor English as well)
Keep on fighting for all the Globe guys!

New Mexico, USA
November 11, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Akinoluna -- No, no ...THANK YOU! For all that you do.


@ Phil in Wisconsin -- At 42, I was told by my local NG recruiter that I was "too old and too slow for a first timer", to which I offered to take this baby-faced young fellow out to the range and teach him how to shoot (chuckle).

Now at 48, they're taking 42 year olds as new recruits, and I'm still too old and too slow to serve my country, go figure...

So I guess "Dipnote" is stuck with me for awhile yet...(chuckle) ...Semper Fi.


@ John in Greece -- nice poem. Marines have a saying, "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

How can we lose with an attitude like that? (LOL!)

Florida, USA
November 13, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

@ John in Greece -- You are always so kind in your cmments about the U.S.A. and always encouraging toward the other bloggers. Just want to say "thanks" and tell you that I appreciate your positive voice. Best Regards.


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