In this short little video a former marine who is at least 75 years of age approaches a young female that has just graduated from her boot camp training as a Marine. The man is dressed in civvies and the young woman is decked out in full-dress as a Marine. The old man approaches the young woman and salutes. He then announces his name and his rank when he served in the Marines. The old man then asks permission to hug his granddaughter. Naturally, the young woman hugs her dear grandfather with tears streaming down her face. Staff Sergeant James Williams (the grandfather) has offered his granddaughter (2nd Lieutenant Charlotte Williams) the honor of receiving her first official salute from him. The first salute is a symbolic gesture that indicates a person has been completely and officially accepted as a full ranking member of the U. S. Marine Corps.
Both the man and his granddaughter obviously know this. The grandfather in all likelihood planned this to honor his granddaughter and be the first to congratulate her in her accomplishment in graduating from the Marine Corps boot camp as well as welcome her in a very personal way to the traditions and honors of the Marine Corps.
Many men that are as old as Staff Sergeant James Williams may have some reservations about women serving in the Marines. Obviously there is no such reservation on a grandfather’s part who is obviously thrilled beyond words at his granddaughter’s success in carrying on a family tradition of service to her country.
The family members and the crowd surrounding the two Marines applaud enthusiastically and many have to wipe a tear or two from their eyes. This is a really touching moment in the life of a young woman and her grandfather. Their affection for each other shines in their eyes and the deep emotion is evident in their faces.
This is certainly a moment that this young woman will treasure for the rest of her life. Who better to welcome you to the Marine Corps than your own grandfather? What greater honor than receiving your first salute that officially makes you a Marine from a person that loves you more than he can say?
Military service is not so much about being a hero as it is about being willing to sacrifice. Moments like these make any sacrifice worth the pain.