As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, most of us will be enjoying the holiday with our relatives. And even though some of these reunions may sometimes be contentious, we can at least take comfort in the fact that we will be among loved ones we have not seen for years. However, not everyone will be afforded the opportunity of reuniting with family members on this occasion. Some of those who serve in our country’s military will be unable to reunite with loved ones this holiday. For those who cannot, there is the “Adopt a Service Member” program which gives local families the opportunity to host Marines for the holiday. (The program is also known by other names such as “Operation Home Cooking,” “Adopt an Airman,” “Host a Marine,” “Adopt a Marine,” etc.)
How to Adopt a Service Member for Thanksgiving or the Holidays
It’s really quite simple to adopt a Marine this year. One of the first ways to do so is by reaching out to the local military installation’s MWR office to inquire about whether it has such a program and whether or not you can join. A second way to join the program is by checking your local Armed Services YMCA or USO office. The effort you make by hosting a member of the armed services this holiday season will be greatly appreciated by Marines who cannot make it home to visit their own families.
Give the Marine time to relax: More than likely they will be tired and will need time to unwind.
Let them watch TV: Football and basketball games are great for bringing strangers together.
Let them call home: Offer to let them call their relatives to let them know how they are.
Stay away from controversial topics like religion, politics, etc.
Don’t offer alcohol or tobacco products.
In short, think of how you would feel if you could not make it home to visit your loved ones this season and what it would take to make your feel more at home. Families who volunteer for this program are in a sense doing a service to the country too. Do your part to express your love of our country and the services by buying or making a gift of USMC clothing to someone who has or is serving. Our site also has a wide selection of Marine Corps jewelry this and every season.
It’s a cry whose origin is as mysterious as its utterance is inspiring. It is a shout that is ingrained in the minds of Marines starting in boot camp. Its meaning and origins are debated both by people who have and have not served in the Corps. In fact, people who have not served associate this cry with the Marines every bit as much as they do the term Semper fidelis. The word is “OO-RAH!” and some sources say that its meaning is as varied as to mean “I am a Marine” or “I love being a Marine” to “whatever I do I will do in a manner befitting a Marine.”
But what about the origin of the word? That is widely disputed too. According to leatherneck.com, the first use of “OO-RAH!” by the Marines was after the Korean War (1953). Legend has it that in this context the word “AHUGA!” was morphed into the shorter “OO-RAH!” While this history is generally accepted by those of us who have or are serving in the Marine Corps, some claim that its origins can be traced to sources as varied as Middle High German (1580-1590) to the Ottoman Turkish phrase “vur ha” which translated means “strike” or “forward.” Others claim that the origin of the word dates back to the Ancient Hun or Mongolian Empire word for “hurray.” Whatever its origin, Marines automatically know that the cry is a source of pride and inspiration. So too are our USMC hats and our Marine Corps products online. They are embossed with symbols and phrases which communicate to others the pride you feel in an organization that has been the key to American independence since the Marines were formed in 1775.
All of the mystery around the word adds to the rich history of the Corps. It is one of the many things that makes those of us who have served proud of that service as even civilians are inspired by this call to action and acknowledgment of pride. Show your pride by wearing some of our clothing including hats, buttons, outerwear, jewelry, etc.
Of all the months of the year, May is probably the most significant in terms of the sheer number of days there are that honor the Corps. For example:
May 1st: Loyalty Day – Which seeks to reaffirm loyalty to the US.
May 7th – National Day of Prayer – Designated by the United States Congress (36 U.S.C. § 119).
May 8th – VE Day, Victory in Europe Day – This day celebrates the Allied victories in Europe during WWII
May 8th – Military Spouse Day – This day honors the spouses of servicemen and women who also make sacrifices.
May 9th to 17th – Armed Forces Week – This week starts on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May.
May 16th – Armed Forces Day – This is a part of Armed Forces Week and celebrates all branches of the military.
May 29th – Memorial Day – The holiday that most civilians are familiar with, Memorial Day is the only US holiday that recognizes those servicemen and women who have – all throughout US history – made the ultimate sacrifice. It began shortly after the Civil War.
For this reason, the month of May is known as Military Appreciation Month. Recognized in 1999 by Congress, Military Appreciation Month is designed to give the public the opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation for the important role that the Armed Forces play in maintaining our freedom and independence. As such, many retailers offer discounts and special promotions for members of the Armed Forces. There will be special events held throughout the country as part of this recognition.
Of course, at eMarine PX our appreciation for members of the Corps is year round. We sell a line of, Marine Corps clothing that are authentic and made in the USA. Our Marine Corps clothes are appropriate for any active duty or retired member of the armed forces who wants to show his/her pride all year long and not just during a single month.
Every year the news is filled with heartwarming stories about Marines and other service people who have been reunited with their loved ones over the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas holidays. But what about those marines who are either too far away from or cannot afford the trip home for the holidays? Luckily, for these marines whose sacrifices are no less important than the lucky ones who get to be reunited with loved ones, there are organizations that help to connect service members with local families for the holidays. As veterans ourselves, we at eMarine PX are not only interested in providing quality US Marine gifts to our customers, we would also like to express our appreciation to the efforts of civilians who strive to make this special time of year enjoyable for service people who have returned to the US but who are separated from their loved ones.
Reaching out to organizations like the nearest Armed Services YMCA or USO office is an excellent way to begin the process of hosting a service person that is home for the holidays. You can also find out more about adopting a marine by contacting your nearest military installation’s MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) office. Service people who are in the position of not being able to reunite with loved ones will greatly appreciate being a made a part of their host family’s Christmas traditions and customs. Happy holidays from the people at eMarine PX.
Like the U.S. Marine Corps itself, the annual Birthday Ball has evolved from simple origins to the polished and professional functions of today. Nonetheless, one thing remains constant, the tenth day of November! This unique holiday for warriors is a day of camaraderie, a day to honor Corps and Country. Throughout the world on 10 November, U.S. Marines celebrate the birth of their Corps — the most loyal, most feared, most revered, and most professional fighting force the world has ever known.
Happy Birthday and Semper Fi, Marines!
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