Making the decision to join the military is a moment a lot of veteran Marines may remember.
Their First Salute is a moment they all do.
When Marine officers are first commissioned, they choose a mentor, someone whose leadership they respect, and who has played a role in their decision to enlist.
In one of the most important ceremonies a Marine will participate in during their military career, the newly minted officer returns a salute, their very first at that rank. Marines call it the “Silver Dollar Salute.”
This is always an emotional event, but few First Salutes have been as moving as that of Charlotte Williams, as she was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. Williams chose her grandfather, retired USMC Staff Sergeant James Williams, as mentor.
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The elder Williams saluted his granddaughter as she stepped forward at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, then made an unusual request.
“Staff Sgt. Williams, requests permission, ma’am, to hug his granddaughter, 2nd Lt. Charlotte Williams,” he said.
The 2nd Lieutenant granted the veteran permission.
“I’m so glad you came!” she added.
Watch this heartrending moment in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.