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Terminal Lance #322 “Light Duty”


While it is certainly true that there is a stigma associated with medical treatment while active duty, receiving a Light Duty chit is a magical moment. The heavens part, rays of brilliant light caress your face with their holy warmth. The blessings from your BAS grant you a brief relent from your daily grind. Not only do you get to don your go-fasters (as they call them) with your cammies, but you get to avoid morning PT as well as field ops (unless your Platoon Sergeant doesn’t give a fuck and makes you go anyway).

It’s a slippery slope, however. For as much as Marines value the opportunity to skate through another day, too much Light Duty will find yourself at odds with the rest of the platoon. No one likes a malingerer–but more importantly–no one likes someone who doesn’t have to deal with the same bullshit as everyone else. A day or two once in a while is fine, but if you’re the guy that’s always managing to avoid the trenches with everyone else, you will soon be looked down upon like the POGest of POG’s. The Light Duty chit is a rare gift, and should be savored as such.

Even more rare, but exponentially more powerful, is the Bed Rest chit. Obtain this holiest of holies and you will be revered as a god.

Medical care in the Marine Corps is interesting. One of the best perks of being enlisted is the free medical. Well, free with a catch. You see, you don’t really get to go to the doctor when you need to. You get to talk to the Corpsman if you need to, and if he thinks its bad enough you get to go to the BAS where you may or may not see a doctor. More often than not, “free medical” just means “free motrin and water with a slur insulting my manhood if I question it.” It’s not so bad though, really; at least, from my perspective it seems to be a system that works fine with rare exceptions of actually serious problems.

Not that I’m an expert, though I have been binge watching House MD on Netflix lately.

Featured in today’s strip is former 4th Marines Regimental Surgeon Ray Portier. He wants you all to know that he’s a “penis and foot doctor.” I’m guessing he earned that prestigious moniker from all of the penises and feet he’s had to look at amongst Marines, since those are usually the only two things that have issues.

Fun fact as I was drawing this strip. In the third panel I actually thought to myself: Should he be on a hospital bed or a gurney or something? Then I realized there’s like fucking angels and shit anyway and I was like whatever.

Infantry Marine turned Combat Artist turned animator turned bestselling author turned dad.

Terminal Lance #321 “The Veteran Moment”

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