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They say that scent is the sense that is closest linked to memory. One whiff of something from a past life can send you on a journey of pungent nostalgia. Well, at least, I saw this in an Axe Bodyspray commercial once.

For me, I can’t get a sniff of Purell Hand Sanitizer without having flashbacks to my time at the San Diego Recruit Depot. It’s one of the many smells that make up the pungent funk of Marine Corps recruits en masse. Anyone who’s been in a Marine Corps squad bay knows the smell of 60-plus barely-bathed recruits is one that is not easily forgotten.

Drill Instructors are surely a hardy breed to be able to put up with such foul wretches for as long as they do.

We should be thankful.

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

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  1. Big Dark Souls vibes on the endless field of soulless husks, shambling towards their inevitable fate at the hands of the drill sergeant.

  2. This comment may not get posted but as an older former Marine I’m going to write whats on my mind.

    Your comic strip does a good job satirising the stupidity, absurdity and bizarre apsects of Marine Corps life. It also exposes the Emotional Immaturity of some of the L*SERs who are on active duty who reenlist becasue they are too afraid of confronting the tough realities of the competitive civilian marketplace.

    I tell young people not to even bother with the Military unless its going to give you some technical practical aptitude that you can use if you decide you dont want to continue beyond a four year enlistment. The Air Force does a better job in that than the Marine Corps does.

    I couldn’t in good concious tell a young kid to even bother with the USMC if they are going to have to endure the mentality shown in your latest comic strip. The Corps hasn’t been in a war for years. The next war is going to demand a LOT MORE technical aptitude and intelligence and you wont get that being a glorifed janitor in a camo uniform.

    The organization has a turnover rate for a reason. The smarter people see it for what it is and get out the first opportunity.

  3. To “Glad to be Out”: I wholeheartedly disagree. I served four years and loved almost every minute of it. After graduating from boot camp that is. I got out ‘cause I thought I had all the answers. Nope, nothing worked out. VEAP sucked giant green donkey cocks in hell. College wasn’t going to happen, no money. Work was… work wasn’t is a better way to say it. I ended up working for $4.50 an hour working on a RV assembly line. I was saved by an Air Force UH-1N that flew over the factory. The next day off I went to try and get back into the Marines. Nope, no prior service authorized for re-entry. I figured since I had a good MOS (6113/6167) I maybe could join the Air Force. For this abbreviated version, I joined up and served for 21 years and retired as a Senior Master Sgt. Loved almost every minute of it. Did what I loved doing; helicopter maintenance. I’d go back in the service tomorrow if I wasn’t so damned old and messed up. I encourage everyone who wants to broaden their lives to join the service. Which service is up to them but I don’t have a problem pointing them towards either the Marines or the Air Force.

    You are what you make of yourself. Work hard, keep out of too much trouble and have fun whenever possible. I will say this, I went to MCRD SD in 1981. When I joined the AF, they wouldn’t send me to their boot camp. I was totally freaking lost for the first couple of years. Then I figured out they didn’t have a clue about Marines. I served those 21 years as a Marine in Air Force uniform.

    Semper Fi, Aim High, Oohrah

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