Mardie was privileged to attend this year's U.S. Marine Raiders Reunion (August 6th-10th) held near the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego. Mardie joined nineteen WWII Raider veterans, other retired and active Marines, family and friends as they shared stories, visited a local U.S. Marine history museum and Naval base, and attended a graduation where 306 young men were officially deemed 'Marines' after completing one of the most rigorous thirteen week courses in the world.
The reunion was concluded with a banquet dinner, with a keynote speech by MarSOC Commander Maj.Gen. Joseph L. Osterman. During his inspiring remarks, Maj.Gen. Osterman read a poignant and timely proclamation by current Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos. In the proclamation, Cmdt Amos declared that the title 'Raider' is now officially and formally aligned with today's MarSOC Marines; a move that honors those that fought so bravely in WWII, and represents a carrying of the heritage created by those men.
A highlight of the event was the reveal of 'Soul of the Forward and Faithful'. The design and finished bronze maquette was warmly received, and Mardie spent the evening speaking to many excited people about what the sculpture meant to them.