TL Comics

Terminal Lance #378 “Half Truths”


I’ve always had a somewhat rough relationship with my recruiter. If there’s one thing I can credit him with, it’s that he was always completely honest with me. I know, right?

I was an easy sell though, he didn’t really have to convince me of anything. The story of my enlistment is a bit strange, at least anecdotally compared to most stories I’ve heard. At the time, I was attending Portland Community College with some intent on being an artist or filmmaker professionally. I was walking out of the school’s chow hall (cafeteria, as civilians call them) and there happened to be recruiters camped out in the main hall.

“Hey man, you ever think about joining the military?” he said to me.

“Yes, actually… I have.”

My family wasn’t exactly a military family, I didn’t have any role model I was aspiring to be. I simply wanted to be an artist. I was looking for something that I knew I wasn’t going to find unless I did something absolutely insane, by most standards. What could possibly be crazier than enlisting in the United States Marine Corps and going to Iraq? With an ASVAB score of 92 I went open-contract infantry (0300) by choice. My recruiter even tried to talk me out of going infantry, but I figured if I would rather join the Air Force if I wasn’t going to be a grunt.

I just wanted to see Iraq with my own eyes, and I got that opportunity twice as an 0351 with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines.

Waxing poetic; tortured artist–call it whatever you want. At the very least, I put my money where my mouth was. As for if I ever found what I was looking for… I don’t know, but maybe that was the point.

Despite the humor here, I can’t exactly blame my recruiter for anything. I’ve heard the stories from other Marines, but mine was upfront with me about basically everything. Well, one of them was. I later heard that one of the other recruiters at that particular RS got busted for sleeping with some poolees.

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

Terminal Lance “Fightin’ Joe”

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