Skip to comments.Terah Kay: These Marines personify ‘Semper Fidelis’ 10-23-2007
Posted on 10/27/2007 12:24:41 PM PDT by STARWISE
I saw something today that taught me volumes about the brotherhood of Marines.
As I stood in line to grill my sandwich, I watched a young corporal preparing two meals to-go. There was nothing really special about the meals . . . except this.
It was obvious to me that this Marine was carefully selecting different things for each tray. One was for him, the other was for his buddy who stood guard at the gate.
He carefully selected meat and cheese, meticulously grilled and wrapped them, then chose sides. I was moved by the obvious care with which the Marine made lunch for his buddy.
But the bond between these Marines goes far beyond chow time.
The International Zone has its own Marines who stand guard to keep the area safe. There are about 50 of them, and they live in the basement of the Presidential Palace. I sat down with a few of them, a team of four, to get a taste of what it means to be one of them. And I learned this: the Marine Corps is a family.
The men I spoke with are all between ages 19 and 23, and all single, though the one from Rhode Island has a girlfriend. When the topic of girlfriends rises, the other three give him a hard time, something hes obviously accustomed to by now.
I can tell these four guys are close. They are all part of a group of five who are on the same guard schedule. When I indicate my assumption that this must be why they are so close, one of them replies, Maam, if anyone of the 50 Marines down here walked into a dark room, I could sniff and tell you who it is.
These men dont just share a job . . . they are brothers.
There was something about these four that reminded me of that bad joke that John Kerry tried to cover up a few months ago the one about young people who dont study hard enough ending up in Iraq.
Let me say this. I have never met more impressive, intelligent, respectful, honorable, funny, handsome men in my life. These young men are the best America has to offer. They are not washouts, dropouts or losers. And, while their peers are back home beer-bonging at a frat party, these young men are on the rise as leaders.
They keep their living quarters cleaner than my grandmothers house and they bear the burden of ensuring safekeeping of the people who live in the Green Zone.
These men make me proud to be American.
And while the four I met utter not a word of complaint aside from the fact that they need more beef jerky they are making sacrifices. I try to get them to talk about these sacrifices, and they really wont have it.
They talk about their fellow Marines who are fighting in more dangerous areas, under fire daily. They feel guilty because they are in a relatively safe place. But they know their time will come.
Today they protect their fellow Americans the people who live and work at the embassy in Baghdad.
But they look forward to that day when they can take their turn protecting Iraqis from the bloodshed that has driven a stake into the heart of Iraq.
It is a timeless honor to sacrifice for our countrymen, but I wonder how many of us are so eager to live a life of sacrifice for people not our own, for people of a foreign land.
When I direct the conversation to thoughts of home, I get a reaction Im not expecting. Talk of family is usually the one thing that gets people talking about sacrifice. Missing home and loved ones is maybe the hardest part of the tour of duty.
These four love their families, and they talk about the things they look forward to about home: barbecue on the beach, sleeping late and letting mom wait on them, the food (this came from the Italian boy, of course), and girls.
But they all agree on something that shocks me. When they go home on leave, they cant wait to get back to their brothers. When they are home, they call back to the unit, missing their fellow Marines.
My small mind fails to comprehend how a group of young men can bond so seamlessly more tightly than many siblings. These men would die for each other in a heartbeat.
I pray not one of them is forced to make such a noble choice. But I have no doubt each one of them would happily lay down his life for his friend.
These men are Marines. They are family.
(Terah Kay, formerly of Muleshoe, is writing periodic columns while staying in Iraq.)
Ping, but bring your kleenex.
Excellent story...I like this Terah Kay.
And while the four I met utter not a word of complaint aside from the fact that they need more beef jerky
Hay, know where they can get some?
Ping to a great story!
Good evening and the very best to you and yours.
I’ve requested the bad picture link
be removed. Sorry for that eyesore .. ;(
Go Tommie..I’m with you all the way...and I was also
in So.Pac....only on a Carrier.. It is the Spirit of
you old Marines that keeps our country..proud !! JK
if you send it - don't list it on the customs form - my post master says it's on th no-no list - so gave me the above advice\, with a wink
You know that you are STILL a MARINE when you hear the HYMN the hair on your arms & neck come to attn.. Mine still does even after all that I have been through since I left my BELOVED CORPS!
SEMPER FI! My brothers & sisters in arms & harms way!
God bless the Marines! Where would we be without ‘em?
Many of my friends like to talk of thier fancy cars or big houses - others brag about vacations in distant or exotic locations.
Me? Yeah - I like to brag too.
I say “My son is a US Marine”.
He is now back home with us and doing well, now.
Good evening and the best back to you and yours, Tommie.
It is a phenomenon. More than family, always, and evermore.
I learned to play that song before I was 10 years old on my first instrument. I’m always standing in the rear, bawling and wiping my eyes, when that song is played.
Awwwh your just a sissy wissy. Honor, Duty, Country.
I am : ) LOL! This makes me think of a magnificent dinner I ruined and had to throw out for a houseful of Marines....and the buckets of tears I shed over “spilled milk” while they calmly went on a spaghettio run : )
Just saw a Coors commercial, and thought of you. Are you watching the game? I’m rooting for Colorado.
I just tuned in during the bottom of the 5th. Looks like they might shake it up : )
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