Christian Anderson had just become a proud, full-fledged member of the United States Marine Corps. It was a bit of a family tradition: his grandfather Jeffrey Anderson, Sr. had been in the Corps, although now he was retired and coping with a disability. However, he still wears his dog tags: once a Marine, always a Marine. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to attend his grandson’s Marine Corps graduation. In fact, he hadn’t seen Christian in almost two years and had never seen him in uniform.
The Marines are a breed apart. The Corps’ long and storied history began in 1775, a year before independence. The Marines were originally infantry carried by warships but they’ve since evolved into a world-renowned elite military force. “Marine” is a title that’s earned, not given: even with the right kind of person, it still takes rigorous training to make a Marine.
Part of being a Marine is having an intense sense of camaraderie. So the family decided to give grandpa Jeffrey a birthday surprise that they knew would mean a lot to him. They captured it all on video and we’ve posted it for you below. Even with the help of a cane, Jeffrey has trouble walking but they were still able to lure him outside. Christian, who looks terrific in his uniform comes out of his hiding spot and quietly makes his way unseen over to grandpa. Jeffrey is getting suspicious and turns around… The expression on the old Marine’s face is incredible. Deeply moved, he gives his grandson a long, heartfelt embrace.
This overdue meeting of grandfather and grandson should remind us of how members of the armed forces have to spend so much time away from their families and loved ones. For all the people back home, being separated is difficult enough, but constantly having to worry about their safety makes it an even greater burden.
How moving was this tough old Marine’s reaction to seeing his grandson in uniform for the first time? We’d love to hear from you in the Facebook comments and be sure to like and share!