I’m in Maryland visiting family and friends this weekend. Last evening, I took my mom and some of her friends into Washington, DC to see the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington. I have fond memories of visiting the Barracks with my grandfather on Friday nights during the summers of my youth.

Marine Barracks Washington, also known as “8th & I,” is the oldest active post in the Marine Corps. It was founded by President Thomas Jefferson and Lt. Col. William Ward Burrows, the third commandant of the Marine Corps, in 1801.

The Barracks is home to many nationally recognized units, including the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Band, the official Marine Corps Color Guard, and the Marine Corps Body Bearers. It is also the site of the Home of the Commandants, which, along with the Barracks, is a registered national historic landmark.
We were meant to see this last night:

Unfortunately, due to heavy rains, it wasn’t meant to be and the parade was cancelled.

I also have fond memories of Chesty, the official mascot of the Marine Corps. He’s at every Evening Parade, strutting his stuff proudly. It so happens that Chesty XIII was promoted to the rank of sergeant in an official ceremony earlier yesterday:

(Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Dengrier Baez/Released)

From Marine Barracks Washington: Cpl. Chesty XIII, the official mascot of the Marine Corps, and Sgt. Christopher Harris, his handler, stand in front of Col. Paul D. Montanus, Marine Barracks Washington commanding officer, during a promotion at the Barracks June 1. Renowned for his tough, muscular, and aggressive appearance, the English bulldog has been serving as a corporal since May 2010. Sgt. Chesty is always on duty at the Barracks, motivating spectators and guests at countless performances both here and abroad.  Photo credit Cpl. Dengrier Baez:

If the parade hadn’t been cancelled, I wouldn’t have had the fortune of meeting a very special Marine last night:

Once they called the cancellation, Chesty was able to get out of his uniform and go for a nice walk in the rain. Both Sergeant Chesty and Sergeant Harris couldn’t have been nicer:

I told Sergeant Harris he had the best job in the Marine Corps, and as they walked off, I told Chesty that I loved him. Do you think that was too forward of me?  ♥ ♥ ♥