Although I have tons of posts to make about Tokyo, I really wanted to first share about Ben’s recent work trip to Iwo Jima, the photos he took are amazing! Unfortunately (and in true military fashion) he found out that he would be going to this training operation last minute and it just so happened to coincide with our family trip to Tokyo! While we were obviously very bummed, we were also grateful that Ben would have the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Iwo Jima and be there to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the battle. Ben would also be the Officer in Charge for the 3rd Medical Battalion detachment which is a pretty incredible/unusual opportunity for a Supply Officer! The Marine Corps is terrible at timing, but when it’s for an opportunity like this it’s worth the annoyance.
Is this not the sweetest thing you've ever seen?! Ben and his Marines each received care packages and thank you letters today from the students at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, VA. The letter reads:
This weekend, Ben and I attended our FOURTH Marine Ball together - where does the time go?! 2017 marked 242 years of tradition, honor, and kickin' ass for the USMC. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to celebrate this birthday with our country's finest fighting force for the past four years and hopefully will for many more.
As I've mentioned several times before, Ben was recently on a training exercise in Korea. Now that he is home, I was able to get a good glimpse of what the past month was like for him through the photos he took. In addition to working primarily on the USMC's Camp Mujuk, Ben also worked on several different army bases for both the United States and the Republic of Korea. At the very end of the exercise, he managed to squeeze in a tour of the city of Pohang, Korea's "steel capital."
After two years of being a "butter bar" 2nd Lieutenant, Ben finally promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The ceremony took place at his battalion headquarters infront of about 20 of his colleagues. I had the honor of pinning his new sliver bars on and to follow with Marine Corps tradition, I made sure to "hit" his bars on after they were pinned. Apparently, in the old corps days Marines would get pinned without the backs of their bars or chevrons. The person pinning them would then hit the bars/chevrons after they were placed so the pin would go into the chest of the Marine... Some good old fashioned USMC hazing haha. In all seriousness though, we couldn't have asked for a better promotion ceremony. Unlike a lot of other Lieutenants that we know, Ben was fortunate enough to be able to promote by himself which allowed the ceremony to be more intimate and personal to Ben and I. I really liked how the Commander (Ben's boss) gave a little history lesson about May 23rd because he knew how passionate Ben is about history. I am also thankful for everyone who took tons of photos of the event, you all rock!!
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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