Aug 13 2010

Marine boot camp graduation in San Diego today

Category: liberty,military,national security,USAharmonicminer @ 4:56 pm

Today I watched the graduation from Marine boot camp of my son’s closest friend, at MCRD in San Diego.  I’ve known the new Marine since he was 11 or so.  He looked really, really thin.  No surprise there, of course.  The nature of boot camp is that the drill instructors see to it that the recruits are always moving, rarely resting, and given little time to overeat.   They learn to eat really, really fast.

What is remarkable about anyone who enlisted after the events of Sept 11, 2001 is that all of these enlistees know that they are probably going to war, and they have chosen to do so voluntarily, out of patriotism and the desire to serve their nation.  There are no draftees in the US military, and the great majority of those now serving enlisted after 9/11.

The Marines of Company A, who graduated today, formed an impressive looking group.  To quote the Secretary of Defense, who spoke to them in person today (probably the closest I’ll ever come to a cabinet member), these Marines are “the tip of the spear.”  They go in first, into the toughest situations, and then they do it again next week.  And in this world, often the week after that.

An officer who spoke mentioned a recent group of over 100 Marines who were due to cycle out of the Corps, having honorably served their terms of duty, whose Company was scheduled next to serve in Okinawa.  At the last moment, when that Company was unexpectedly ordered to Afghanistan, these Marines re-enlisted to stay with their Company in this challenging assignment.  This is not uncommon Marine behavior, I’m told.

These young men who graduated today deserve our thanks, and our admiration.  They deserve any support we can give them.  Without men such as these, down through time, we would not have a nation.

My son’s friend had other options.  He is a bright young man (he tested VERY high on his ASVABs), and could certainly have gone to college.  Academically, he is college material.  In fact, I tried to talk him into taking the ROTC route through college and into a military career.  But he wanted to do it this way, and I can’t fault his decision.

Heartfelt congratulations to Private Justin Howell, USMC.

2 Responses to “Marine boot camp graduation in San Diego today”

  1. MrMusiclover says:

    “Heartfelt congratulations to Private Justin Howell, USMC.”

    Here here!

  2. Kira says:

    Go Justin!!

Leave a Reply