Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Marines are Special…Happy Birthday

November 10th, 2008 Posted in The SandGram v1.0
Marines are Special…
You just don’t see the same brotherhood in the other services like you do in the Marine Corps, except for the smaller branches like Special Forces where they are a small, tight  group.  We are the largest gun club in the world, and it shows when two Marines meet.  We as Marines, can walk into a giant banquet ballroom, filled with thousands of guests, and like magnets, are drawn magically together (much to the dismay of their spouse who expect them to meet boring Bob and his wife from accounting.) Before the night is over, millions of stories are told, and both Marines will figure out that they have mutual friends in common that they have served with over the years, which opens up the flood gates to forgotten memories of old past detachments. 
For example, I just returned from a  trip up to Omaha Nebraska, where my sister-in-law was married.  Friday night I received a phone call from one of my favorite Captains down at the Squadron named Tony, who was participating at an air show in Stuart Florida.  While he was at a big party (thrown for the guest who bring a plane to the show), he met a Marine CH 46 pilot named Charlie.  Charlie happens to be a  fun as hell, big red-headed Irish guy who I spent a month with in Turkey back in ’92.  Our “Det” was filled with many long nights in the beer tent, drinking that crappy Turkish beer, as the outcast aviators among the grunts during that deployment .  Of course, Tony and Charlie met. They started talking, and through a few degrees of separation (Me) they spent the rest of the night telling war stories (some at my expense I’m sure). Because they are Marines and travel a lot, they may not see each other again for many years, but someday down the line they will meet up in a 3rd world crap hole country and will pick up just where they left off that night in Florida.  This cycle continues as they then meet another Marine and another, like that old shampoo commercial “And so on, and so on” as the pyramid expands. 
When I got out of the Marines, I found that I was mainly associating with guys who were former Marines, and many from my neighborhood.  It’s just one of those things that happens to us.  That is why you see so many cars with the nice shiny round Marine sticker on the back of the window that says “US Marine Corps.”  You don’t see a lot of Army, Navy or Air Force stickers on cars, do you? Think about it, they will refer to themselves as Ex-Army, etc., but if you say a guy is an Ex-Marine, you’ll be corrected very quickly  “Once a Marine, Always a Marine” so they should be referred to as a Former Marine.  We are kind of funny like that.
So, to all of you Marines out there and Supporters of my fellow Marines, Happy Birthday to the greatest fighting force ever assembled!!
Semper Fi,