Once More Unto the Breach…

As a consistent hawk on the Global War on Terror I have often heard “Well if you’re so gung ho about the war why don’t you go fight it yourself?” The truth be told I have given serious consideration to doing just that several times. Unfortunately each time I come to the conclusion that at my age and with my doughy physique I wouldn’t cut it in the Service. Even the lowliest Marine, the weakest airman, sailor or grunt could easily wipe the floor with me. It’s not something I’m proud of, but Truth trumps Pride – or at least it should at my age.

I’ve also come to realize that there is something much worse than putting yourself in danger: it’s putting a loved one there.

According to his girlfriend, my stepson – a Master Sergeant in the Corps – will be shipping “out” of Pendleton much sooner than we thought. It’s a secret where “out” is at this point, but I doubt he’s deploying to Canada or Japan.

He has a girlfriend and children. In my eyes he is full of untapped potential that the Corps has missed. He is a soldier intellectual without knowing it, an avid historian who remembers long-forgotten wars and draws his own, unique conclusions. He would excel in an academic setting, especially one with a strong military bearing like the Navy Academy or West Point.

He was one of the first Marines into Afghanistan in 2001. He has been to Iraq and holds opinions about the locals that are so politically incorrect that I shudder to hear them. He has a sense of duty that I admire, and a sense of humor that I envy. He is strong, self-assured, handsome and brave – all the things necessary to make women swoon and men follow him without hesitation into battle. If your son is a Marine, my stepson is the man you want leading him.

When discussing death he is nonchalant, stating that he wishes to be buried in Arlington so that his service to our nation isn’t forgotten. He reminds us that he has willfully chosen this path, and that he did not join the Corps for its safety and security.

But I don’t think he understand that his comments are blows to the gut for his mother and me. In fact, he’s excited about going. It’s easier to make the choices for a child than watch him make his own, and suffer the consequences. But we’re proud of him all the same.

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  1. Dean's World:

    A Deep Cold Fear In the Pit of My Stomach

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
    Or close the wall up with our English dead!
    In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility;
    But when the blast of war blows in our…

  2. BT in SA:

    Your Stepson sounds like a fine young man!

    Being over where there are so many “locals” I understand exactly how he has formed opinions that are “so politically incorrect” that you “shudder to hear them.” I find myself uttering things that not only would have never ever come out of my mouth before we moved here, but things that make ME cringe and which make those who might happen to hear them mighty uncomfortable. I do, however, realize that it is imperative that I keep my razor-sharp tongue in check when not in the company of either my DH or small circle of close American friends that are here with us.
    We will keep your Stepson in our prayers that he, alongside his many military brethren, will be kept out of harms way while he is in “Canada or Japan,” and will return home safely to the shores of American soil.

    Our best to your Stepson – and if you wouldn’t mind – please let him know that THIS American respects, thanks, and is incredibly grateful to him for his willingness and ability to take up arms and confront our enemies so that we may continue to live in [relative] peace in our Great Nation.

  3. Chad:

    Ahh, the chicken hawk argument. Leads right in to “only those with federal service are citizens” argument which they’d hate.

    Had some short bus moron from Seattle hit Pirate-King with some of those arguments. He never responded back after I posted that I was actually in Iraq, and Damo (who works for a 3 letter agency) said some other things.

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