Terminal Lance #157 “War and Peace”
October 25, 2011
The military is one of those things you join with a purpose. I don’t believe I could possibly know or understand every reason people embark on such a life-altering event, but I know one thing: I joined to go to war. In 2006, the war was in full swing and I wanted a part of it. It goes without saying, then, that I have no idea what the Marine Corps is like in peacetime. In my head, it’s something like Heartbreak Ridge meets everything I actually know about garrison Marine Corps.
That is to say: I imagine it’s a place full of bullshit and bad acting.
I suppose this topic came into my head with the way things are somewhat dwindling down in the world. President Obama has officially declared the end to the Iraq war, Gaddafi has been killed and Afghanistan will certainly be spiraling down soon enough. Once the wars are over, though, what are Marines to do?
My enlistment was always about the next thing. When I was in bootcamp, the next thing was SOI so we could learn how to survive in Iraq (yeah right). When I was at SOI, the next thing was going to the fleet so I could join a battalion going to Iraq. When I hit the fleet, the next thing was training to go to Iraq. Once we were in Iraq… well… we started thinking about what we were going to do next. Everything we did revolved around Iraq and the looming possibility we would be sent to Afghanistan. Either way, we trained, we went, we came back, we did it again. War was always the elephant in the room–it brought purpose to our activities and gave us a common enemy. Without it, I don’t know what my enlistment would’ve been like.
From what I hear, peacetime Marine Corps is a shitty time for those that have been in long enough to have done it, and it’s something I’m glad I missed out on.
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