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Semper Fi
Lieutenant pinned at Baptist Hospital West

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Brigette McMillan, granddaughter of former WATE/WBIR-TV weather anchor Margie Ison, was promoted in a ceremony held at Baptist Hospital West Monday, May 11.

Rather than have her commanding officer, who is deployed in Iraq with the rest of her unit, pin on her new rank, Lt. McMillan opted to have her mother, Jill McMillan, and her sister, Brittany McMillan, do the honor, aided by her oncologist from Mercy Health Systems, Dr. Joseph Lee.

“Because he is a part of my recovery, he is now, in a sense, a part of my Marine Corps career. I am carrying on my life and he has provided me with the ability to carry on as normally as possible,” Brigette said.

Brigette recently was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was treated by Lee and Dr. Thomas Pollard.

“Even though this is a promotion ceremony, this is a time that my family and I want to take to honor Dr. Lee and Dr. Pollard, who cannot be here today, for the time and energy you pour into your patients. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and you truly are a man of God and a servant of the Lord to change people’s lives,” Brigette said.

Brigette was given the oath of her new rank by her father, retired Lt. Col. David McMillan.

“[I] do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. I will faithfully and dutifully carry out the orders of the office of which I am about to enter, so help me God,” Brigette repeated after her father.

Brigette said she also wanted to take the opportunity to thank her family for all of their support during her illness.

“The sacrifice that I know my family has made ... Even though they say, ‘It’s worth it, we love you,’ still, it doesn’t go unnoticed, the sacrifices that they have made and the strength that they have shown through this, these last few months,” she said.

“Most of all I thank my savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true author of healing, who knows every hair that has fallen out of my head. That is who deserves the full honor and the full praise for me standing here today as a Marine, for me standing here today among these amazing professionals and has blessed me with the amazing family that I have,” she added.

Brigette has one treatment left before she will be released again for active duty.

She plans to join her unit as soon as possible.

“They are in Iraq and Afghan-istan right now, so even though we have been facing our own giants, they are the ones who are away from their families and working 12- and 14-hour days. I consider it a joy to be able to go back and serve with the Marines of MAX II,” she said.


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