Thursday, November 27, 2008

Marine Corps Training

I've been wanting to dedicate a post to Bob S., one of our frequent commenters, who seems to disagree with me on just about everything, but has a respectful and thoughtful way of doing so. His son recently graduated from the Marine Corps Basic Training in San Diego.

I myself went through that training in Parris Island in the summer of 1970. I did it for all the wrong reasons, mainly to get my father's approval. All this is in retrospect, of course, but even during that summer's frenetic activities, I often wondered what I'd gotten myself into. On the graduation day, which followed what was at that time nine weeks of incredibly intense physical and psychological assault, my elation at having survived and the thrill of receiving the drill instructor's as well as my father's beaming approval, inflated my persona into something new and different for the 17-year-old, 135 pounder that I was at that time.

I went on to have a less than illustrious military career and to commence upon a decade and a half of rebellion against everything, all material for other posts. Yet, I believe some lifelong habits and attitudes were instilled in me that summer, many of which have served me well.

Best of luck to your son, Bob. May the Universe smile upon him wherever his military duties take him. And may he be one of the survivors like I was.


  1. illustrious military career or not, thank you for your service, Mike. A great post!

    Where did you end up being stationed during your service?

  2. Mike,

    Thanks for the post, it means much to me. I'll pass along your words to my son this weekend.

    It was an incredible experience being in San Diego to see him graduate. Just a chuckle about weight, he barely made his ship weight at 203, by the time he graduated (now 13 weeks) later, he was down to 175.

    I too thank you for your service, from one veteran to another, it is greatly appreciated.

    On this Thanksgiving Holiday, your family and you will be in my prayers, God Bless you sir.

  3. I meant to say in the post that on November 10th I always remember it's the Marine Corps Birthday. That's why I was thinking of it plus your son's graduation.

    In August 1970, my weekly graduating class was the first one in 5 or 6 years that didn't all go to Viet Nam. I was in the 50% that stayed Stateside. Six months in San Diego and all the rest on Camp Lejeune NC. Great memories.

  4. Here are your USMC

    My Marine parts of the family (along with the legs and airyfairies) stomped through the European Continent, The "greater east asian co-prosperity sphere", Korea, the nam rice, Latin America, Africa, Iran and Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and you can read their names on a big granite wall and visit them in Arlington. One of them just got shot in the head as a DM covering British soldiers in Afghanland.

    Joel Mabus--

    Some People Say They All Died For Nothing

    I Can't Really Agree

    This Brother Here Didn't Die For No Country

    He Died For Me.

    I touch every name I know every time I end up in the socialist nightmare of DC and I get tears. Even more so for the family I never got to meet. Some of them are buried in Italy and Sicily and Switzerland because their plane crashed coming back and they were just American kids helping out people to stay free.

    Most of my kin didn't have "great memories". Most of the living friends and family you couldn't get story one out of. It's nothing they wish to remember.

    It's a game to you because you didn't get shot at or have to go anywhere near danger. Many others wouldn't feel that way if they weren't dead.

    If, after this post, you don't get why I have strong feelings I shan't be back.

    Next time you get up in the morning in a free Italy, thank a US soldier.

  5. Just in case it matters, look up the survival rate of the 1st Battalion, Seventh Marines Aviation Companies in Indochina.

    You got to rotate back to the states after 365 days and a wake up but almost none did because they didn't make it a year.

    My great uncle died with Japanese machine gun bullets in his leg and never had them removed because it might hurt a nerve and never was rotated home. Lived to be 67. Never talked to anybody about it either.

    Most of my family got stationed in forgotten grave sites helping people that wouldn't help themselves so they could be free.

    Call them "baby killers" call them "destructive forces" but when the sh*t hits the fan, who do the EU call?

  6. A Picture is worth thousands of my words.