Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Livin' The Dream" ~
Anonymous Marine, Afghanistan

I've asked before... I'll ask again. Where do we get men such as these?

The young kids that fill the ranks of my beloved Corps make this beat-up ol' Master Sergeant beyond proud. May God be with each and every one of 'em.

From Michael Yon (of Online Magazine);

The U.S. Marines are flooding in, and you might think that every Marine helicopter in our arsenal is here. I’ll not give numbers and types other than to say the line of aircraft is long and formidable.

The U.S. Marines are a spectacle for the U.S. Army and also the British Army. The Marines will come in and live like pure animals, and build a base around themselves, whereas the British and American Armies will tend to build at least part of the base before coming in. One Marine commander told me that during the early part of this war, his men didn’t even shower for three months. We talked for a couple of hours and he was proud that his Marines didn’t need a shower for three months, and that his Marines killed a lot of Taliban and managed to lose only one good man. That’s the Marines. They’ll show up in force with no warning, and their reputation with U.S. Army and Brits who have fought alongside them is stellar. A NPR photographer who just spent more than three weeks with the Marines could not praise them enough, saying he’d been with them in Iraq, too, and that when Marines take casualties, their reaction is to continue to attack. They try to stay in contact until they finish the enemy, no matter how long it takes. Truly they are animals when it comes to the fight. Other than that, great guys. Tonight at dinner, a young Marine Lance Corporal sat in front of me at the crowded dining facility. “Good evening, Sir,” he said. I asked, “Are you living like animals out there?” “Livin’ the dream, Sir!” They are fantastic.

By the way... anyone who has a son interested in joining the Service, if they wonder what the Marine Corps has to offer them, the answer is simple -

Not a damn thing. With the exception of suffering, hardship and pain. And of course, the pride that comes with being a Unites States Marine.


Blogger Simplex Vir said...

Caveness, you know you out rank me. However I beg to differ with you on what you describe as what the USMC offers.

See while none of what you said is wrong, it leaves out a most important part of the equation.

The USMC offers the very best training you can get. You will not have to worry about who is sitting next to you in the foxhole. Your flanks will be covered and your chances of survival in a combat zone go up exponentially EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE CUTTING THE MOST DANGEROUS PATH.

Semper Fidelis.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Fellow Teufelhunden,
When you said "The USMC offers the very best training you can get", that's essentially what I meant by "And of course, the pride that comes with being a Unites States Marine". You just put it more succinctly.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

We talked for a couple of hours and he was proud that his Marines didn’t need a shower for three months, and that his Marines killed a lot of Taliban and managed to lose only one good man.

At least some of the Taliban casualties resulted from being overpowered by the 3 months' stench! LOL A good way to get around the Geneva Convention's prohibition of gas warefare! LOL

I have noticed, with great admiration, how the U.S. Marines seem to thrive on "want." They are last in line for Congressional appropriations. They seem to run a stripped-down organization. Even during WWII in the Pacific, for example, they were last to get the newer weapons (e.g., M-1 Garand and Thompson submachine guns). When I was in the Navy I almost never saw the Marines in conditions of plenty, especially the Marine Recon advisors I would sometimes supply during my Vietnam tour with the Naval Advisory Group.

IIRC, the Marines have always hit their recruiting targets, unlike the Army, even in the midst of an increasingly unpopular war (Iraq and now Afghanistan).

I see a Marine analogy in traditionalist religious orders. They are having to turn candidates away for lack of room (e.g., the Our Lady of Guadalupe FSSP seminary). And these orders/seminaries are of the "no frills" Marine-like variety. I think there is a lesson buried not very deep somewhere in all this.

I do remember one combat experienced Marine NCO so many years ago who told me that the Marines stressed the basics, and not "fancy" when it came to war fighting. The first basic principle was marksmanship--i.e., rounds on target.

So way to go Marines!

Jim C.
. . . a retired Bubblehead (submariner) and Vietnam vet. . . .

4:43 PM  
Blogger Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

Marines are amazing creatures. I counted myself blessed to have grown up around them.

This article doesn't surprise me a bit (except for someone from NPR praising Marines for doing their job). A kid from my parish is in infantry training now. James had a lot of problems growing up. It took two tries to get through Boot Camp. But now he is flourishing. (I guess I should call him a man now.) Seeing the kind of man the Corp had made out of James, I am not at all amazed that they thrive in the situation described.

11:48 PM  
Blogger TheSeeker said...

Marines are incredible. I am so proud of my best guy friend. He's a tough SOB and a real genius. As soon as he recovers from his surgery, watch out world! :-D

BTW, thank you for your service, Cavemen. I love y'all's blog.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

That's buddy. People like you are exactly why we keep this blog going.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

God bless them. I think most men, if given the chance would gladly stink for a couple of weeks but three months without a shower? Awesome.

8:02 PM  

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