The following was written by Scott Calhoun, Managing Director for the Family Office Division of Ronald Blue Trust.
There is no such thing as an “ex-Marine.”
This year will mark 32 years since I left active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving, I started my college education and commenced on an incredible career in the financial services industry, ultimately leading to my fortuitous introduction to Ronald Blue Trust.
You may have heard it said, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” and that sentiment is absolutely true. From Memorial Day to the Marine Corps birthday to staying in touch with friends–both old and young from the Marine Corps–my time in the military, left a profound impact on my life and the way I view the world to this day.
I think that same attitude prevails among all members of the U.S. Military, regardless of which branch they served in or the amount of time served, we share a common and unique bond. We call each other brothers and sisters, but it is so much more. It is knowing that the person next to you would lay down their life for you, that you would do the same for them, and all are prepared to lay down their lives for those we keep safe at home. That bond is especially felt this time of year when we honor and remember our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation and their fellow service members.
The motto of the U.S. Marine Corps is “Semper Fidelis,” or “Always Faithful.” Although the motto is unique to the Marine Corps, the attitude is clearly shared by all branches of the U.S. military. It is a faithfulness that doesn’t shrink from danger, nor is it extinguished when we retire or leave active service. It is a faithfulness that is shared via a special fellowship and an identity of being part of something greater than ourselves. A faithfulness and fellowship that requires us to sacrifice our time, our families, and for some of us even our lives.
There are many biblical parallels. First Corinthians 1:9 calls us, as Christians, to a similar, yet far deeper fellowship:
“God is faithful, who called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Although my time in the Marines is clearly part of the identity I carry with me today (after husband, father, son, brother, and all of my other responsibilities), it also comes after my most prized identity and that is “follower of Jesus Christ.” The Lord remains eternally faithful and has called us to be part of a fellowship that supersedes all others. This fellowship also calls us to make personal sacrifices for the greater good, to live boldly and courageously, and to lay down our lives for one another. It calls us to be “Always Faithful.”
On this Memorial Day weekend, as we rejoice in our fellowship as followers of Jesus Christ, let us reflect on the passage from John 15:13 below and the sacrificial price paid by our fallen soldiers, which so powerfully reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice made by our risen Lord:
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Scripture quotations taken from the NIV(R) copyright by Biblica, Inc.(TM).