Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day (A Promise Kept)

When I was in Iraq, I lost a very good friend. I will not say his name here as I do not have the family's permission to do so.

Suffice it to say, he gave his life for the freedoms that we all enjoy and occasionally take for granted. In return, I will finally honor a promise made to him that I couldn't carry out at the time.

My friend wanted me to tell everyone at his memorial service (if such occurred, it did and I had to go out on a mission during such...) that he hated false motivation and the professed love of the Marine Corps for just it's sake alone.

In the Marine Corps, a certain variety of person can be found: The Motard. This brand of individual can best be described as someone who is very much into all of the verbal reinforcement and trappings of the organization and means well, but misses the real underlying purpose of the experience as a whole. In other words, a motivated retard. The Military is not known for it's subtlety...

This kind of Marine will accost you with an inexhaustible supply of "Ooh-rahs", "Yuts", and "Semper Fi's", but they only seem to do it because they are in love with the idea of being a Marine rather than simply accepting the fact and doing their jobs quietly and efficiently.

What they fail to comprehend is that all the "jaded" Marines (mostly Infantry) have an innate understanding about the way men and women are motivated in the most important facet of the organization's structure: War.

Those Marines have come to understand that no amount of "Ooh-rah" will carry your buddy back to Charlie Medical, no amount of "Yut" will kill or capture the enemy, and no amount of "Semper Fi" will bring lost friends back to life.

We don't require verbal reinforcement to carry out the duties that can bring us life-long heartbreak. We do it because we said we would and we never want our families and friends back home to ever see or do the things that we have.

I don't blame those who are overly excited about being a Marine, I was too when I first graduated from Boot Camp in '04, but at some point the shine wears off and you have to get down to the business of carrying out your sometimes odious duties. The job can be an incredible rush, and an interminable bore. It is not for everyone.

I will stop here and offer to all those who have gone before me and given their ultimate sacrifice for the life I love today my thanks.

May God bless and keep you in His love.

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! ~Thomas William Parsons