U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jodson B. Graves

My dress blues are hanging in a closet in our bedroom. My wife and I did not have a lot of room to spare in our modest home when I moved back to Columbus from Camp Lejeune last May, so I had to tuck them behind a row of t-shirts, dress pants, and various civilian-appropriate wares. It’s the same place you reserve for nostalgia, the variety of which you are not ready to let go; a place for memories. Like most memories, I often forget they are even there. But on occasion, while rummaging around for a shirt or pair of jeans, the light will reflect off a medal or brass button and catch my attention. A Marine’s dress blues are what he wears when he’s proud of his service — clean, pressed, measured — a stark contrast to what is worn when he isn’t. When I do manage to see them, it prompts a stare from me that is both proud and mistrustful.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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