True Brotherhood…Thank You

True Brotherhood...Thank You

Dear Sgt Grit,

Last evening my boyfriend PFC Andrew Carlson brought me out to dinner at the Wild Horse Cafe in Beverly Ma for Valentines Day. Andrew is currently on his 10 day leave after his Parris Island graduation and will be going to North Carolina next week. We were both dressed up, he in his uniform and I in a dress. We were seated and ordered our dinners in the quiet dimly lit restaurant. I could not help but notice that there were few people dining that evening primarily because it was the night before Valentines Day. After we ordered our dessert the waitress came up and said " I just wanted to let you know that your dinner has been paid for by a gentleman who was dining here earlier. He is a former Marine and noticed you coming in and has paid for your evening together." Both Andrew and I were in disbelief. She then added, "it is an honorable thing to be in the Marines and I thank you for your service." I asked if the former Marine left his name or number and she said he didn't leave anything but just wanted to pay for our dinner. Andrew and I could not believe the generosity and unselfishness this Marine gave to us. As we sat there almost feeling guilty Andrew said "That is the first time I've experience the 'brotherhood' of the Marines The only way we can thank him is to do the same thing for a Marine someday." I nodded and we sat at our table in silence holding hands and hoping that the Marine will know how much it meant to us. I am so proud of Andrew and his decision to leave his career at 28 years old and serve his country. I am amazed at the pride and bond that Marines have for one another even if they have never met. This bond was shown to us through the thoughtfulness of the Marine who paid for our dinner. We will never forget that and I only hope and pray that he knows how grateful we are.

Semper Fidelis,
Julia Lower and PFC Andrew Carlson

39 thoughts on “True Brotherhood…Thank You”

  1. Not surprised at this story at all. This new Marine will find this brotherhood will be with him the rest of his life. It never ever goes away. S/F..from an old Marine

  2. You will NOT find a finer brotherhood than the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for as long as you live. When somebody walks up and says Semper Fi you will understand what that means. I have been out for 45 years and it still means a lot when that happens. Last week a young lady, early 20s I guess, saw me wearing a USMC hat and she said Semper Fi. Must have some Corps tie somewhere.

    1. Ditto the fine brotherhood!!! I recently had a similar experience Gene. I had one of my USMC caps on at a Costco store. I was stopped by two men and one woman for 3 different conversations. All started with “thank you for your service”. One was a 15 minute conversation about Marines and Army. I left the store with a smile and pride showing. BTW Gene: I have been out for 52 years, so you’re a YOUNGSTER!!!


  4. What a great couple! You deserve the recognition. Have a great life together!! From a real old Marine, Korea era.

  5. It never ends. My 32 yr old daughter will say Semper Fi when she sees someone with a Corps hat or shirt and I still do. It will always mean something. Will be with a lot of Marines this weekend. The John Basilone annual parade I’m Raritan NJ. The town he grew up in. A very nice thing that former Marine did ! Semper Fi

    1. Bob, Saw your comment on the ” Brotherhood ” and that you partake in the Basilone parade in Raitan NJ. I made a friend while on a pheasant hunt for Veterans of all branches put on by Pat McGrath and the VFW in Faulkton SD. I know it is a long shot, but his name is Andy Nemesis, probably 88 years old, Army vet but extremely proud of the fact that the Marines invite him to the parade! Semper Fi ! Jim Petit 66-68 Blue Eye, MO.

      1. John Basilone may get a ship named after him in the near future by Sec-Nav. It’s about 72 years late but better late than never. The brotherhood has been alive for me for 58 years and it just gets better and better.

        1. Manila John did have a destroyer named after him. Commissioned in Dec. ’45 DD-824, I think is was the late 70’s it was taken out of service. Years later used as a target and sunk. On a side note in 2016 Gunny Basilone would have been 100 years old…

      2. Wish I could say I knew him from the parade. There are WWII vets, all branches, in the parade. Quite an honor to see them. Years ago they walked, past few years they ride in vintage cars with their branch, their name etc. They always get a very loud round of applause along the parade route. Even more years ago there were at least 15 Pearl Harbor survivors who marched. They wore colorful Aloha shirts and white hats. It appears that those survivors have passed away. Haven’t seen them the past few years. The Marine Band from Quantico was a regular at the parade, made sure I was by the reviewing stand to hear them play the Marine Corps Hymn for the dignitaries. Due to O’s military cutbacks they haven’t been there in 3 years.

  6. I have been a Marine for 51 years since graduation from boot camp ,to the present served three tours in Vietnam,Im still proud to be a part of the greatest fraternity in the world.As long as the Corps lives ,we live.God bless the Corps,good luck to our newest PFC, Semper Fi Marine.

  7. The same thing was done for me! I have return the favor over the years when the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately where I live, I don’t get to do that to often. Yet I remember the impression that it left on me was profound. So every time I’m able I do so. SEMPER FIDELIS

  8. My wife and Imhave had the honor of buying dinner for a young Marine couple ourselves. My grandfather was a Marine, my father was a Marine and I will, always be a Marine Vietnam. My son in November will be a 4th generation Marine. Best of luck to this Marine Corps couple.

  9. God Bless this young Marine and his girlfriend keep them safe and God Bless the United States and the U.S. Marine Corps!

  10. Julia you have chosen well! Andrew will one day, understand, that “Once a Marine, always a Marine”. The brotherhood of the Marine Corps is truly for a lifetime. Now in retirement, this old Marine still; shines his shoes, polishes the brass, removes the Irish pendants, aligns the belt buckle with the fly, properly fits the shirt (blouse), irons my own clothes and makes the rack. My wife of 44 years thinks I am crazy sometimes! Especially when I run with my canteen and K-Bar in the morning. Yea, you might say I am a little Gun-Ho! I just tell her it’s good old Marine training at play! Stay strong with him and he will never let you down! Marine Corps Pride runs deep! Best Wishes ………….Semper Fi.

  11. I live in San Diego, California were many active, retire, and former Marines live. To see the generosity of a Marine is no surprise. Great story and good luck to you two. Tony, Gulf War Vetm

  12. Had it happen to me more than once when I was active duty 1969-1973, really felt good as so many people were down on the military because of the “Conflict” in Vietnam Nam. Repaid the favor after I got out. Still do when possible. The Semper Fi thing? Exchanged greeting with MUCH younger Marine who was with his five year old daughter. She looked a him and asked what it meant, when he said, “Alwats faithful” the little girl thought for a minute and said , “Wow! That’s greai!” She then gave me a Senper Fi!. A few years ago I was in a restaurant at the airport in Baltimore when a Marine Corporal in dress greens fresh back from Iraq wearing a Combat Ribbon. I invited him to sit with in the crowded restaraunt. He ordered a sandwich and a beer. The waitress informed him it was policy to NOT serve alcohol to military personnel in uniform. I told her he was combat veteran fresh from Iraq. She smiled sweetly and told me, “I can’t serve him, but if you would another beer in a styrofoam cup, I can do that, my brother is a Marine.” Problem solved. Semper Fi!

  13. Recently I was shopping and a vet recently from Afghanistan came up to me and thanked me for service since I was wearing a Vietnam Vet cap. Then as he was walking away he said we are brothers. It just shows you what a true brotherhood the Corps has given us.

  14. God Bless you and your boyfriend we pray that you both will have a very long and happy life together. Thank you Marine for serving and thank you to all of our veterans and soldiers now serving in the arm forces. God Bless the Good Old U.S.A.

  15. “Once a Marine, always a Marine”. The brotherhood of the Marine Corps is truly for a lifetime.WHEN I GOT OUT IN 66 THE PUBLIC TREATED ME LIKE A LEPER.BUT MY MARINE CORPS BUDDY’S WERE ALWAYS FAITHFUL TO EACH OTHER.PLT 217-PI.

  16. I’m 69 years old. I was with 2/26 in Vietnam from 10-67 to 11-68. Things were different then when you got home. But since then I have experienced countless times of semer fi and respect. Sometimes I have said at the grocery store to the cashier , you don’t have to say that every time. She said yes I do. Marine is for life. That’s the best part. It never goes away. It’s the best brotherhood on earth. Always be proud of your Marine. I wish both of you true happiness.

  17. It always brings great memories to my mind when I hear of stories like this. A title EARNED, never given. I pray he serves well, stays low, covers his buddies six, and his own. I pray that for all of my younger BROTHERS. SEMPER FI!! ( it never gets old )

  18. I have done the same thing a couple times when I see a ww2 vet from any family, uncle’s,older brother,his wife,my younger brother & my self all served proudly in the corp with pride.even now at 76 , I still have that same proud,great feeling to be one of the best outfit in the world.just watch your 6 as we go forward .

  19. You have joined a Brotherhood for Life! It’s just for 4 years or 20 years if you decide to stay that long but it is for life!! You will see the Love, Respect, Courage and Commitment that each and everyone of us Marines have Earned during our time in the Corps!! I had a Great Uncle, Uncle, 2 Brothers, Ex-Wife and her Dad that are Marines and we still stick together through it all as you will!! Semper Fi Marine

  20. To all of my brothers and sisters!! Semper Fi!! PFC Andrew Carlson – welcome aboard young man!! No better or closer brotherhood exists!! God Bless you both! 0331 Echo 2/4 Vietnam!!

  21. No disrespect to the other branches, but our Corps really is a breed apart. Welcome aboard to both of you and Semper Fi!!!

  22. On September 10 my wife and I were in San Diego to attend a wedding, she went with some friends to Subway and pick up some late lunch. After picking up lunch see saw a young Marine behind and told the cashier to add his bill also. The young Marine was quite surprised and my wife said he looked like he was going to cry. I was so proud of her for doing that, it made my day with her juster. Tony C-1/9 and S-1 with 1/9, 67-68. Vietnam. I still remember boot camp in 1966.

  23. I’m proud of any of my Brother Marines present, past n those I lost in Nam they were many of them. We were young as you and Julia, you two stay in contact and the love n respect will keep you together. Yes it is a Marine thing that we take with us when we report to our final duty and regroup with all Marine before us thus we live forever as Brothers. Semper Fi!

  24. As a retired Marine, I have experienced the “pay it forward” as well as initiated one for my fellow Marines young and old. It drives those who aren’t Marines crazy because they have difficulty understanding the “Brotherhood” and the comradery of the world’s finest fighting men and women. I have found brothers/sisters young and old from churches to sidewalks to restaurants We have a way of finding each other and it is great to meet those who have served or are serving. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi!.

  25. I am a proud member of our Marine fraternity, and a Viet Nam vet (65-66). I firmly believe that as a department of the U.S. military we stand apart from the rest. The others don’t have the same Espirit de Corp. Save for Rangers, Seals, Special OP’s. When was the last time you heard of the Army or Navy Birthday Ball? I have had the opportunity to honor our service men in this manner twice. Once was a soldier having a dinner alone in a diner, and the other was a young Army reservist and his wife out for dinner on the eve of his deployment to Afghanistan the following day. It made me feel good (a bit selfish) to be able to do for them that which wasn’t done for me. I look forward to the next opportunity to do so again. Hopefully with a Marine

  26. My wife and I spent the night in Decater,Alabama and were eating breakfast the next morning and the watress told us our meal was paid for by a kind man who had already left. I had my corps cover on. He wrote a nice note on our check. I will never that, it got me all choked up and brought tears to my eyes. SEMPER FI


  28. HM1 Dennis *OLD Doc* Herdina, FMFPAC Corpsman of Marines. Semper Fi to you both may your tours be everything you wish and more. The Brotherhood is real. I moved into this area (a very isolated one) and in a matter of a few weeks I met over 50 retired Marines of all eras. Once they learned I was a Doc (from 68 to 94) I knew I was good to go. Every day we are always in contact in some way and we still look out for each other. Fair winds to you both The Brother hood is all about WE there is no I or U in we! Altho Navy retired I still think the best thing I ever did in the Navy was volunteering for FMF duty.

  29. You will find this recognition to life long. You have joined the proudest fraternity in the U.S. Having experienced the other side of this after returning home from Vietnam it took many years for me to put on the gear again. i’m glad i finally did as the result of a gift from my wife. Semper Fi to you both, and by all means pay it forward when given the opportunity.

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