Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans' Day, the USMC, & Arnold Schwarzenegger - A vignette

Yes, I know I haven't blogged in ages, and I promise that I'm getting back on the wagon with this. ;-) But considering that yesterday was the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and today is Veterans' Day, I wanted to share a particular experience with you.

Over the years, I've been blessed to meet & work with a lot of really cool people. If you've followed me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you have an idea of what I'm talking about. It's a crazy life for the child of immigrant Chinese from rural Delaware, and there's hardly a day that goes by that I don't shake my head in wonder, tripping out on how life has turned out for me.

Thanks to one of my dear friends, I was fortunate enough to bring my son to meet Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the unveiling of his latest Muscle & Fitness cover on Venice's legendary Muscle Beach.

While we were waiting in line, there was a young Marine standing right behind us who'd just come back from deployment. I spoke with the young man about his experiences overseas, and he was telling us that meeting Arnold was one of the most momentous experiences of his life. He went on to talk about how Schwarzenegger's story motivated him and inspired him through some of the most difficult parts of his tour of duty. Holding an older digital camera, the young Marine asked if I'd take a picture for him when he got to meet Arnold, to which I gladly agreed.

When Squealie & I had just finished taking the pic above, the Fire Marshall and crowd control quickly shooed us out. I looked back at the young Marine with regret & disappointment at not being able to take the picture for him. 

I'd found out later that thanks to Gov. Schwarzenegger's right hand man, Daniel Ketchell, the young Marine was indeed able to meet his hero and snap a pic with him... much to my relief. While that certainly put a smile on my face, Ketchell later told me that Schwarzenegger then took the time to handwrite a note of personal thanks to the young Marine in appreciation for his service to our country.

That left tears of pride and joy streaming down my cheeks. 

Veterans, you are the front line of a fight that makes our way of life possible. As I count my family's blessing on a daily basis, I count you among them.

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