Terminal Lance #24 “It’s Worth It”
March 26, 2010
This is actually a true story. Well, I dunno if Bill actually did any maniacal laughing at the time, but this is based on true events much in the same way Hollywood makes movies “based on true events.” In any case, I remember thinking to myself how strange it is, that our job is so miserable that people would literally rather have their teeth pulled out than participate in a field op. Not only is the act real, but the person is usually commended for “good timing.”
Wisdom teeth are one of those things that are probably better pulled out while you’re active duty and have that ever-so-popular “free medical.” After all, they do get you out of work and if you’re of the Oh-Three type, maybe even a field op. While being completely miserable, I would be amiss to say that field ops have no lasting value to me. The field is really where the heart of the Marine Corps is, where things make sense (in a strange way) and you don’t have the outside world to worry about. The field brings Marines closer–and it has nothing to do with any motto-bullshit about how we love our job. It’s the fact that we all hate it, actually, that makes the field a place of bonding. As one of my seniors explained to me on my first deployment, Marines come closer together when they have the common enemy of the Marine Corps to bitch about. Ironically, putting Marines through misery on a daily basis makes them much closer in the long run, whether anyone realizes it or not.
Strip a platoon or company of all of their material worries, and all they have left is each other.
Going back to the comic though; before the recession hit America, getting Marines to join was a problem. Recruitment was low and retention even lower, Marines were being offered bonuses of up to $90,000 to re-up–a hefty offer to say the least. Maybe–now this is just a thought–retention would be easier to attain if Marines didn’t prefer having brutal oral surgery performed in preference to doing their job.
On a side note, I’d like to ask a simple question: Why is it that when someone of ridiculously high rank wants to talk to you, they never tell you if it’s good or bad? It’s easily the biggest mind-fuck for someone at the lowly rank of Lance Criminal. Just saying.