An Honorary Marine fighting cancer made it to a Marine ball

Jack Lowe wanted nothing more than to be a United States Marine. Service in the Marine Corps is in Jack’s blood. His great-grandfather was a Marine pilot and both his parents are Marines

He planned to enlist in the Marines right out of high school until, in March of his junior year in 2022, he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

He soon began 36 proton radiation treatments as well as six months of inpatient chemotherapy. At the end of the six months, he was cancer free.

In August of 2023, as he was preparing to undergo surgery on his left femur, it was found that the cancer had returned. Six weeks of experimental chemotherapy was started, but at the end the cancer hadn’t retreated and had instead spread to the rest of his body. His diagnosis is now terminal, and doctors do not give him a lot of time.

Jack is a fighter, as his family and his friends around him, who began reaching out to the Marine Corps about making him an Honorary Marine. The request made it to the desk of Commandant of the Marine Corps General Eric Smith who approved it.

November 1, at Jack’s home in Flowery Branch, Georgia, Brigadier General Walker Field, the Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the Eastern Recruiting Region, removed his own Eagle, Globe, and Anchor from his uniform, handed it to Jack’s father, Daniel, who then presented it to Jack.

Jack’s story made it onto Reddit and, needing some “feel-good” news, Task & Purpose did a quick video on it that went up on Friday, Nov. 3.

Within a few hours, hundreds of comments flooded in on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Many comments said that Jack, being a Marine now, needed to attend a ball.

Marine Corps balls are a time-honored tradition that connect Marines of every generation and rank when Marines gather in formal uniforms to celebrate the history, legacy, and future of the Corps. Balls are typically in October and November, close to the Marine Corps November 10 birthday.

But with ball season winding down, it was unclear if Jack could find one to attend. We asked anyway.

Almost immediately it became obvious that the biggest problem wouldn’t be finding a ball for Jack to attend, but picking which one. 

Among the many Marine units that responded, the Combat Logistics Regiment 45 and Recruiting Station Atlanta made the most sense, with their ball on Nov. 4 close to Jack’s home. 

When he arrived at his first Marine Corps ball, Jack was named the Guest of Honor.

marine ball honorary marine
Jack Lowe and Arin Davis at the 2023 Combat Logistics Regiment 45 and Recruiting Station Atlanta Marine Corps Ball. Photo from Instagram.

“As a father and a Marine, there is no better honor than seeing your son wearing Our Blues,”  said Jack’s father, Daniel.

This is where the words escape me, as they so often have since Friday after seeing the response of this community. 

There are truly only two words that capture this:

Semper Fidelis

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