There is a tradition in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) that is known as the ‘First Salute’. Some people also call it the Silver Dollar Salute and it happens when a newly commissioned officer selects an enlisted servicemember to salute them for the first time as an officer. In most cases, an instructor, mentor or family member who impacted their journey will be selected.
Charlotte Williams had to make such a decision when she was commissioned a second lieutenant. She chose James Williams, a retired Staff Sgt. of the USMC. He was more than just an enlisted Marine, he was her grandfather.
When the commissioning ceremony had finished, the time for the first salute was at hand. Lieut. Williams went outside of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia and her grandfather was waiting there for her. He felt honored to provide this First Salute and he also asked for “permission to hug” his granddaughter.
She gave him permission.
A video was taken of the first salute and it was uploaded to YouTube. People instantly fell in love with what happened and they are now sharing stories of their own First Salutes below the video in the comments. Others are just saying how nice it was that it took place.
After Lieut. Williams got the first hug from her grandfather, he gave her a kiss on the cheek. She then looked at him and said: “I’m glad you came.” I doubt that he would have missed it for anything.
You can see the first salute in this video: