It was November 1999, I was standing in the recruiters office letting him know that my mind was made up. I was going to be a Marine. He was breaking the news to me that I had to wait until I graduated before they could do anything. I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. It was a short 13 months later, December 12th 2000, that the white government van pulled up in front of my mom’s house.
I walked out of my mom’s house with nothing more than the clothe on my back, toothbrush and ID. I remember standing in line getting ready to catch the shuttle to the airport, thinking “Well, it’s now or never Tony.”
That’s the day I became a recruit, the title I held proudly for three months. For three months they broke me down and built me back up. They instilled in me the values and principles that all Marines live by and that I, to this day, adhere to.
I remember the day I received my Eagle, Globe and Anchor. I was standing in formation, sweaty from the recent hump; exhausted from the evenings festivities. That was the day that I started my journey as a United States Marine.
“Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They’ll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOB’s I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man’s normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and , generally speaking, of the United States Marines I’ve come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet.”
~ An Anonymous Canadian Citizen
Today is the Marine Corps 235th Birthday! I hope that all my brothers and sisters, where ever they are, sleep well.
Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I was there next to you; sharing a bunk, foxhole, outpost. Semper Fidelis!
Take care and come home safe.