The saying is "Once A Marine, Always A Marine" and those of us who were, still are. We are in every walk of life, from ditch diggers to statesmen (Senator John Glenn, for example).
We have families - wives and sons and daughters.
You may not recognize us without the short hair or jungle suits, but we know who we are, and often we find our Brothers and Sisters without even looking for them.
In my current occupation as a truck driver, I meet many veterans. There is something about the self-discipline learned in boot camp and our training that makes us well suited to the job.
We are often alone in the field, with a mission to accomplish and all or nearly all the tools needed to accomplish it. The final tool that our employers can't give us is the self-motivation to do the job right.
I served in the Marine Corps from 1976 thru 1987 before the physical punishment to my knees got the best of me. While on active duty, I was a Weapons System Specialist on the Grumman A6 Intruder. Most of my service was with VMA 332, a unit which has the last to fly the Intruder before transitioning to F18 Hornets in the mid 1990's. I was stationed at MCAS Cherry Point,NC and MCAS Iwakuni Japan.
As I write this, in March of 2003, the Marines are once again preparing to do the job they exist for - a first strike capability and tool of the President Of The United States. Anyone who has ever faced the possibility of ducking lead will tell you it is not something that they look forward too. The young men and women who are now in "The Sand" preparing for their missions are doing their jobs. If you are an American, you have the right to agree or disagree with the policies of the government. Keep in mind the people who protect that right. Even if you don't want to see the country at war, you should Never take it out on the folks who are doing what they believe is their duty to their country and its citizens. Many of us remember what happened when the boys and girls went to Viet Nam. They were abused in ways many can't imagine when they came home to "The World". Some still relive the nightmares. Not all the nightmares are from what they experienced in some foreign land.
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