When Marine Barracks Washington D.C. announced it would be postponing parade season in the face of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), my immediate thought was, obviously, “What about Chesty?!”
Parade season, which includes a weekly Friday evening parade throughout the summer, is Marine Corps mascot Lance Cpl. Chesty XV's time to shine. The very good boy and beloved Marine is a major highlight of the events, receiving an official introduction and even starting rehearsals the day before for his big Friday night debut.
So with parade season pushed back, clearly I had some concerns: How is Chesty doing? Is he quarantining? Is he missing his fans? Does he have enough toys?!
Thankfully, we now know that he's doing just fine.
A video released on Monday, created by Cpl. James Bourgeois (Chesty's handler), Gunnery Sgt. John Jackson and Lance Cpl. Allen Sanders, shows our favorite Marine going about his business — socially distanced, of course.
Chesty is no doubt eagerly awaiting his chance to shine in the spotlight once again; as one of his handlers told me last summer, Chesty can “be a bit of a diva” and thrives on attention.
But until then, he'll continue doing what he does best: making our hearts explode one adorable little salute at a time. And maybe someday, he'll finally get a hang of the whole face mask thing.