A career for an active duty Marine can be extremely demanding. Working late nights and early mornings are common throughout the ranks, not to mention overseas deployments.
Finding the balance between work and home life can be described as juggling glass and rubber balls. Glass balls are tasks that need attention now and rubber balls are tasks that you can come back to. Sometimes it can be difficult for a person to determine which task or priority is a glass ball and which is a rubber ball.
Mission accomplishment and spending time with family is a challenging balance that many Marines face. Fortunately, the Marine Corps has programs in place to ensure family life is given a priority for the service members. Chaplain Religious Enrichment Development Operation, or CREDO, is a resource that offers married couples retreats promoting professional, personal, relational, spiritual growth and more.
CREDO was established in 1971, helping improve job performance and enhancing overall quality of life for active-duty service members and their families.
The regional CREDO Marriage Enrichment Retreat held Jan. 22-24, 2021 was administered by U.S. Navy Lt.Cmdr. Steven T. Benefield, chaplain for the 4th Marine Corps District.
One of the most memorable moments of the retreat, according to Benefield, was the last event. The last event was for couples to come up with something to present to their significant other that was considered outside of the box.
One of the CREDO attendees was Sgt. Tyler Gorby, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Substation Maddison Heights, Recruiting Station Cleveland. After Benefield explained to the couples what the last event was going to be, Gorby knew exactly what he wanted to present to his wife, Desiree.
Several years ago, Gorby and his wife decided to get married quickly because they were expecting a baby and wanted to raise a family together. Gorby said he never had the opportunity to propose to his wife the traditional way. He said his wife would jokingly bring it up from time to time. Gorby said his four-year-old daughter would hold her hands out like she was holding a ring box and ask her mother, "Did dada ask you to marry him like this?"
During the last event of the retreat, Gorby saw an opportunity to do that very thing. He volunteered to go first.
"As I dropped down to one knee she immediately lost bearing and the tears began to fall. I told her exactly how much her and the girls meant to me and why I felt that this was absolutely necessary. I did not want our daughters to grow old knowing that dada never asked for their mother’s hand in marriage the traditional way. This was the best time to make things right," said Gorby.
Benefield observed that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after that moment between Gorby and his wife.
Gorby and his wife thanked everyone who was involved in making the CREDO Marriage Enrichment Retreat possible. Perhaps Gorby thought the traditional proposal was a rubber ball and he could come back to it at a later date. In hindsight, was he right?