Sunday, September 7, 2008

What it means to be a Marine


I have had lurkers write me wondering why I waste my time trying to educate people who are incapable of learning. I wouldn’t go as far as they do, but I agree that you are severely deceived by Leftist propaganda. I can also show and have shown how Leftist beliefs deviate from Classic American Liberalism. I am an American Liberal in the tradition of American Liberalism. I believe in Freedom, Free Speech, God, and Country. I believe it is our patriotic duty to answer the call to arms should our duly elected president call us to that. I believe in America. I think it is the best nation that has ever existed. Liberals from say Truman’s time and earlier would say what I said, but not those who call themselves Liberals today, who have in fact been hijacked by the Left and aren’t Liberal at all.

I heard someone claim that Leftist anti-Americanism is an exercise in free speech. Free Speech is an American attribute. Therefore they are supporting America, through their Anti-Americanism. This isn’t logical, but one must study logic (which most people haven’t) in order to know that.

As to your claim to know more about being a Marine from talking to your nephew than I do from being one, don’t forget you disagreed with me. You said Marines aren’t like what I described them to be because your nephew wasn’t. To begin with, unless your nephew is enormously gifted in the art of communication and has taken the trouble to enlighten you about all his experiences in the Marine Corps including philosophizing over what it means to be a Marine; which I doubt (I doubt it because communication is difficult and most people aren’t very good at it) you are very likely over-estimating your understanding of what it means to your nephew to be a Marine.

Also, I think you said your nephew was in the Air Wing. The grunts don’t consider Air Wing Marines real Marines. That isn’t true, but that is what many of them believe and there are significant differences. The experiences of grunts are vastly different from the experiences of Air-Wing Marines. The retired Marines I encountered while working at McDonnell Douglas all had experience in the Air Wing. My training was grunt training and while my experience overseas in Intelligence technically under the Air Wing it wasn’t working directly with planes. And then after I got back I was a Rifle Instructor which was under the Infantry; so these Air Wing Marines from MacDonnell Douglas thought that I was more Marine-Corps-gung-ho than they were, and it seemed that way to me as well.

It works like this; the initial training for all Marines is the same. They are all trained to be infantrymen, i.e., grunts. Every Marine has the basic MOS of “Infantry.” But after specialized schooling some go into the Air Wing. These Marines are not subject to the same sort of rigorous regular training grunts have to endure. Also, officers are in another category entirely, a bit removed from what it means to be “typical.” The Sergeants run the Marine Corps at the working and fighting level and best exemplify what it means to be a Marine, in my opinion J, but everyone who has been through Marine Corps Boot Camp is a Marine, and unless your nephew gave you the experience of going through boot camp – just by talking (and if he could do that he should be running for congress) – then you don’t know what it’s like to be a Marine.

Lawrence Helm

Former Sgt, USMC

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