MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing hosted an evening colors ceremony honoring spouses throughout the Marine Corps aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., May 19.
The ceremony welcomed the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, and his wife, Bonnie Amos, first lady of the Marine Corps, who spoke as the guest of honor.
Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, 3rd MAW commanding general, entrusted the ceremony to a sergeant within his command as part of his committed and engaged leadership initiative. The program was designed to give power and a renewed sense of responsibility back to noncommissioned officers.
“For a sergeant to be put in charge of an event like this is just absolutely amazing,” said Sgt. Jeremy Hight, reviewing officer for the ceremony with Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) 1. “To be put in charge of everything that has to do with the ceremony is just an absolute honor for me.”
Though the purpose of the evening colors ceremony is to empower the NCO, this ceremony honored the military spouse.
“It wasn’t about me out there, or the officers in the crowd – it was about our spouses, because they go through what we go through,” said Hight. “They feel everything we feel. The pains, frustration, joy and happiness they get all of that, but the only difference is that we get to wear the uniform.”
Hight spoke briefly about spouses during the ceremony. He talked about what his wife does for him and how he felt being able to give something back.
“She is the love of my life and everything I’ve done in my life has revolved around her and my two children,” said Hight. “To see the look on the spouses faces when they realized that all the sergeants involved did this for them was amazing.”
After Hight spoke, he invited Mrs. Amos to speak to those in attendance. She has served with her husband as a Marine Corps spouse for 43 years and has done all she can for the spouses of the Marines she loves so much.
The first lady of the Marine Corps explained that while military spouses, children, friends and relatives do not put on a uniform every day like their service members do, or take an oath to fight and die for their country if necessary, they do serve.
“We make sacrifices every day for each one of you, who are making sacrifices for us,” said Amos. “I thank all of you, all of you wonderful spouses who do so many things every day. You are the unsung heroes of the success of our Marine Corps and our Navy. I am very, very proud for these 43 plus years to be called the ‘first lady’ of the Marine Corps and to be able to love each one of you from near and far away.”
After the lowering of the flag, the ceremony concluded with Hight presenting the newly folded flag to a teary-eyed Bonnie Amos in thanks for her dedication to the Marines and the Marine Corps and as a representation of the Marine Corps’ spouses.