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Camp Pendleton Marines celebrate the Marine Corps 247th Birthday

Camp Pendleton Marines celebrate Marine Corps birthday.jpg
Posted at 5:01 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 20:55:42-05

CAMP PENDLETON (KGTV) — Across the Marine Corps bases in San Diego, cakes are being cut in honor of the Marine Corps' 247th birthday.

It's a prideful tradition for the military branch that unites Marines of all backgrounds.

At Camp Pendleton, the cutting of the cake symbolized more than just the birthday, it symbolizes the continuance of tradition.

Marines traveled through time to honor those who've served our country in the past and now in the present.

“The Marine Corps birthday is so important because it shows all the sacrifices that the older generations of Marines had to do for Marines like myself to be standing here present," said PFC Leslie Barcenas Sandoval, U.S. Marine.

PFC Barcenas Sandoval is a special part of the ceremony because she is the youngest Marine at the ceremony.

It's a tradition for the first piece of cake to be passed from the oldest Marine at the event to the youngest.

"It was definitely a good point in my life to know that I made it like I said passing down the knowledge from the oldest to the youngest and then one day I will be passing knowledge down to even younger Marines in the future. It is an honor. It feels great and I’m going to miss being the youngest Marine now," said PFC Barcenas Sandoval.

She said being the youngest and serving as a woman in the Marine Corps gives her a sense of pride.

"I could be able to walk around with other men that are older than me, higher ranked than me, and just let them know that I’m doing what they did at one point being a female," she said.

Colonel Terry M. "Skip" Curtis is a two-time Purple Heart recipient and retired Marine Corps pilot.

He was watching the ceremony from the crowd.

"Getting to shake the hand of a young 18-year-old female PFC, I mean I’ve always enjoyed meeting these young people because they are the future of the Marine Corps," he said.

It was his 61st time celebrating the Marine Corps' birthday.

"It’s a reminder for all of us that have served or look forward to someday serving or are currently serving that the tradition that we follow— that this legacy of the Marine Corps is a very real thing. It becomes tangible to those that wear the uniform," said Col. Curtis.

While PFC Barcenas Sandoval will miss being the youngest she knows that when everyone is in uniform they bleed, cry and breathe just the same despite gender or age.

She leaves this advice for the next generation of United States Marines.

"Find the light within all the darkness and all the struggles and all the fears and all the challenges that you do have to overcome," she said.

Happy Birthday, Marines!