The Blog

Marine Corps Retirement Ceremony

Events, Portraits

Congratulations MSgt Timothy Muckey

It’s been nearly 20 years since I began my life as a Marine Corps wife. I still remember our first duty station check-in. My new husband and I sat across from the Battalion XO (executive officer) and listened intently as he welcomed us to the unit. He was a Major in the Marine Corps. At the time to a young 2ndLt and his new wife, he was an awe inspiring, salty dog. There were many times through my husband’s career I wondered if we would make it to Marine Corps Retirement Ceremony of our own. Now, 21 years later we are still trucking along in this Marine Corps life. We’ve reached the stage where the Marine families we know and love are beginning to celebrate their own retirement achievements.

There is no such thing as an Ex-Marine… Only Active Duty, Retired or Reserve Marines.

Tears filled my eyes as the Marine Corps Hymn was played during MSgt Muckey’s retirement ceremony. I had to keep snapping photos through my blurry eyes because I had a job to do. I don’t think photographing retirements or promotions will ever get old. There will definitely need to be a plan for carry tissues in the future. But as a Marine wife I am always overwhelmed with love, joy, and pride when I have the opportunity to attend one of these special ceremonies. This is because I know first hand the struggles and sacrifices endured by service members and their families to reach this momentous occasion.

To reach 20+ years of service I can pretty much guarantee the service member has missed multiple birthdays, anniversaries, graduations & children’s first. Things like first days of school, riding bikes, teeth lost, etc. For some those things may sound trivial. But when the career you have chosen is to stand in the gap between the evil of the world and those left at home to fight for a better life; those are the moments which are cherished. And missing them, so many of them, tears at your heart a little more with every one missed.

Once a Marine … Always a Marine

None of that is said to make anyone feel sad or pity for our service members. In fact those are the things that make my eyes fill with tears of joy and pride during these kinds of celebrations. Because I know they missed those moments to protect me and my family. To stand in the gap. And the only way I will ever be able to repay them is to live my life to the fullest. Then say thank you when and where I can for their service to our country.

So Tim & Stephanie thank you!! Thank you for allowing me to photograph this important life event for your family. I wish y’all the very best during your retirement years. I pray this new chapter will bring you and your family a life filled with joy and happiness. Thank you & Semper Fi!

National Museum of the Marine Corps
Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel
National Museum of the Marine Corps