As someone who has spent fifteen out twenty years of service overseas, it was great to be back in the United States when I checked in to 3d Battalion 25th Marines back in May. Even before Marine Week began I was blown away by the support of the community for their military and the amount of love and fidelity the people of this area have invested in us. It was a real privilege to showcase the Marine Corps for its citizens and provide a return on their investment.
Throughout Marine Week itself I couldn’t even walk a block without someone wanting to shake my hand, slap me on the back, or take a picture. One night a young gentleman asked how I liked Cleveland. “You guys are great!” I responded truthfully. “Well, you guys are better,” was his reply. I couldn’t disagree more with that assessment.
Let me say to the people of Cleveland, your Marines are great only because they come from great communities like this one. We are a cross section of extraordinary people like yourselves. Over 9,300 Marines currently serving hail from the Buckeye state and I think that is a testament to your faithfulness and character as citizens.
In the four years the Corps has been doing Marine Week you provided the largest crowds to date. Over 80,000 people attended the MAGTF demonstration over two days. Marine Night at Progressive Field enjoyed larger crowds than opening day. Your participation in events surrounding Marine Week are what made it the success it was.
Though Marine Week has come to a conclusion and many of the Marines are moving on, Cleveland’s own 3d Battalion, 25th Marines remains in Brook Park. We are more excited than ever to be a part of this outstanding community. You are not strangers to us. We’ll be seeing you around.
Clevelanders should be as proud of their city as they are of their Marines. You have been awesome hosts and steadfast friends to us. Thanks for giving us something worth fighting for.
Sergeant Major Mike Burke
Inspector & Instructor SgtMaj
3rd Battalion, 25th Marines