Going to the gym in the Marine Corps has always been kind of annoying for me. Though I do it regularly, I hate it every time. While it’s obviously an exaggeration to say all of the biggest guys are POG’s, it does seem to be a common trend. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the POG’s–hell I am one now! In fact, this strip was inspired by a conversation I had with another combat photographer about the gym. The gyms in Iraq are always the worst. The dank, sweaty rooms walled by the Seabee’s handywork with plywood, and a small layer of dust on the ground. The nicer ones had AC, most of them did not.
As someone who is not particularly large and has little to no interest in becoming so, the gym is always somewhat intimidating. I suppose it’s true there’s always a bigger fish, but when I’m benching a modest weight, and look over to find someone doubling what I’m lifting–it’s always somewhat disheartening.
With that said, it usually didn’t stop me, but for the longest time I refused to work out in the gym for these very reasons. I think Marines make a lot of excuses, but ultimately, going to the gym when you’re not already big, is usually not a good time.
One of my POG friends was mildly offended by the last panel of this comic. I will say again, I have nothing against the POG’s of the Corps–honestly I don’t give enough of a shit about anything in the Marine Corps for it to bother me anyway–but this project is the efforts of a grunt, from the ground up. My target audience is the grunts, more or less. I think the humor can be appreciated by really anyone in the Corps, but ultimately my point of view is going to be skewed toward the infantry; as that is just how I was raised.
At this moment I’d like to give a shout out to my good friend Lance Corporal Alex Ailor, whose mother just passed away suddenly. All of your friends back in K-Bay wish you and your family the best and you have our condolences.