My Corps…

April 7, 2009

I’ve been a Marine for 21-years so obviously I have found some rewarding facets of my job that have kept me coming back year after year. As I near retirement I find myself trying to revisit those reasons more frequently- not that I‘m second guessing myself, I guess I‘m just reminiscing. Here are a few of the things that make being a Marine so great and a few things I‘ll miss as I evolve into a civilian once more.

Being a Marine is never having to say you’re sorry- superior fire power and the backing of 202k of you closest friends guarantees you’re correct in almost every situation.

Camouflage matches everything and never goes out of style.

You get paid (not well mind you) to stay in shape.

You get to travel to all those exotic locations you’ll never find in a travel brochure or Carnival Cruise Line port of call list. “Next stop Iraq- make sure you remember your body armor and have a lovely visit.”

All those Marine clichés that only sound cool when you’re one of the Nation’s finest.

“Pain is weakness leaving the body“- (quit your whining it’s gonna get worse)

“Shoot, move, communicate“- (the only things you really ever need to remember on deployment)

“The only easy day was yesterday“- (Today is going to suck)

“Semper fidelis“- (Always faithful- God, Country, Corps)

“Good to go?”- (Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?)

“Strong“- (I like what you just did- do it again)

“Copy my last? Roger. Out here“. (saying good bye to my mother on the phone)

“OOH RAH!” (The Marine equivalent of the word dude- with just as many interpretations and uses.)

Everything you need to survive can be carried on your body and moved from place to place with nothing more than the boots on your feet and the determination in your heart.

Young Marines- they can make things explode that are normally completely benign and they can break those things which claim to be unbreakable.

Standing around at a party and listening to everyone talking about how shitty their work week was and wondering how shitty it could have possibly been without anyone trying to shoot them? Come on guys how bad could it be?

Getting air lifted out of the field after 2-weeks of busting your ass hiking around in the woods.

Your weapon passing the armorer’s inspection on the first attempt to get it locked up for the weekend.

Hot coffee in the field.

Coming home from deployment and bringing everyone back that you left with.

Scorpion fights in the desert- always put your money on the green ones they are extremely surly little beast.

Formation runs when a former drill instructor is calling cadence.

Being dirty for so long that you no longer smell bad (takes about three weeks, I know this as fact).

Listening to your troops crack jokes when they’re sitting in a bunker waiting for Scuds to hit- they’re never as funny as when they’re scared.

Getting an excruciating ass chewing from my Battalion Commander that ends with “How’s Connie and the boys?” He still had love for me even when I screwed the pooch.

Telling people I just met that I’m a Marine- every other occupation I can think of pales in comparison- of course that’s my own personal opinion.

Drinking beer with a bunch of Jarheads and telling deployment stories that at one time were pretty close to factual.

Being told to do the impossible with minimal support or resources and knowing that you can do it- simply because you’re a Marine.

You don’t punch a clock. Why would you- you’re there until the job’s done.

Hand grenades, not just because they’re fun either- but for the eerie feeling of knowing that if you screwed up the results would be extremely unsavory. (If you’ve ever thrown a hand grenade you know thee feeling I’m talking about)

Post deployment purchases- Mustangs, crotch rockets and Tattoos. I’m not allowed to purchase any of the above- but I can live vicariously through my young Marines as they roll through the gate in a car they can’t afford slathered in Neosporin.

Wearing my uniform in public and having a little boy ask me for my autograph and the thanks I receive from his grand father who served in Normandy.



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Mary Ann posted the following on April 14, 2009 at 1:39 am.

Pain is weakness leaving the body— I am not a marine just a regular Mom kinda gal— but when I was at the dentist today and the Novacaine was leaving by body during the 4 hour appointment, all I could think of was your crazy Marine Phases, I was a wimp, I sniveled and yes I got another shot of Novacaine.
Love your blog told my dentist about it!!!

shane posted the following on April 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm.

Mary Ann, how about this phrase, “harder than a wood pecker’s lips”

Civilian translation: Had you managed to undergo oral surgery without the benefit of novacaine people would think you’re “harder than a wood pecker’s lips”.

As an aside I’m completely aware that wood peckers don’t have lips- but if they did they would have to be extremely tough lips in order to allow said wood pecker to peck wood.

Heather posted the following on April 17, 2009 at 1:38 am.

Hey Friend….thanks for the years of service for our country. I am grateful for all you and your comrades have done.

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