I’ve often heard it said that a bitching Marine is a happy Marine.

To be frank, I’m not sure if I agree with that. However, there is truth in the sense that Marines definitely love to bitch. In the case of a MEU deployment, Marines are often finding themselves longing for the “action” of a proper combat deployment. While it is true that they might be spending some miserable hours on a big gray boat, at least they get to stop all over the world and check out all kinds of interesting foreign sights and sounds.

You know what foreign sights and sounds you see in Iraq? Women in burkas and gunshots. That’s basically it. Shit sucks bro. I would have rather been on the MEU.

Of course, the grass is always greener. You can’t blame Marines for wanting to experience the whole combat deployment thing, it’s what they’re brought up to do. When I enlisted back in 2006, I knew for sure that I would get sent to the middle east, one way or another. 10 years later? The prospects of such adventures aren’t as foretold as they once were. This is essentially peacetime, and combat is nowhere to be seen for most of the Corps.

This has been interesting for me, personally, as the creator of Terminal Lance. I started back in 2010 when most Marines were like me: two-pump chumps that were largely disillusioned and disgruntled. Today’s active duty Marine Corps is undoubtedly different than the one that I left behind, and the last of the Lance Corporal combat veterans are most likely out or soon to be.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but it’s food for thought.

If you liked the art style in the 2nd panel here, you’ll love the 290 page Terminal Lance graphic novel “The White Donkey,” which chronicles Abe and Garcia on their 2007 deployment to Iraq.

Follow The White Donkey.

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