On the morning we left Beaufort, Mark was honored as the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal at US Naval Hospital Beaufort.
What a beautiful morning it was...
C and M and B came to show their support for Mark
The P's did too
Mark, in his whites, lined up with the other officers attending morning colors.
Preparing for the presentation of the medal in front of such a beautiful view.
Mark comes forward to accept his medal
I was so proud of him and everything he accomplished within Navy medicine
The official award documentation
After the end of the medal presentation and other command announcements, the color guard began their march toward to the flag pole where they would raise our Nation's flag.
At attention while the flag is being raised...
I salute all those who have chosen to serve our country. Your sacrifices are never forgotten.
After morning colors, we had the chance to say a few last goodbyes...
Lee, Mark's department head, and Mark
Mark and me and the OB/GYN clinic staff
Mark and our dear friend Robert
Our best buddies who I already miss so much
Mark and me in one final photo with Mark in his uniform
I cannot begin to explain how much I have appreciated Mark's four years of active duty service. While Mark and I are so incredibly grateful that his four years were free of deployment, I recognize us to be in the vast minority. Each and every day, I was reminded that freedom comes at a price. It is a sacrifice made by brave Americans who know this price and, in spite of it, volunteer to protect our most basic of rights. Every time I stepped foot on Parris Island, I was overcome with a sense of pride and allegiance to the young men and women who chose to serve in the US Marine Corps. They enter the gates of PI boys and girls, and they leave men and women confident that protecting our freedoms is their duty. How can I leave Beaufort anything but eternally grateful for having been a part of that?