Happy Veteran's Day
It is Veteran's Day Weekend, since Veteran's Day was yesterday and I don't think there's anyone out there that would begrudge us taking the whole weekend...especially since the Marine Corps Birthday was Friday. As a Marine Corps Veteran these are days that are obviously near and dear to my heart. And as usual, I ended up working.
Don't get me wrong, I have no issue working on Veterans Day, I just find it infinitely amusing that my wife and son got off Friday for Veteran's Day and neither of whom have enlisted or are old enough to even do so...along with all the other kids in school who got off and are not yet old enough to even think about enlisting.
What made think to post today though is a post someone made on Facebook in one of the Veteran groups I belong to. The question was essentially, "When did it hit you that you were in boot camp."
Usually, when I think of physics I think of my buddies in High School, as I did again that day. There was a Physics Club that they belonged to that every year would go to the local amusement park (Darien Lake way back in the day for those that are familiar with Western New York) and they would drop pennies from the rollercoasters and do the math on how long they would take to hit the ground from the various high points.
The math I was learning was very similar, only instead of how long will a penny dropped from a 70' rollercoaster take to hit the ground, my math was how long will it take a bullet to travel 500 yards, and given the curve of the bullet how many clicks up do I need to adjust in order to hit my target. Keep in mind that there was no question about what was meant by "target." Sure we may have been getting ready to go to the rifle range at some point to shoot at paper targets, but those targets were painted to look like people. They were painted to look like people because that was the point. We were learning Physics to learn how to send a bullet 500 yards down range to kill a human being.
When you're 17, and all of your friends literally just started school that same day and you're in your class setting learning how to kill people, even though you signed up to be a cook (or 3381 - Food Service Specialist), it is indeed a very sobering wake up call. You have to remember that when they say, "Every Marine a rifleman" they mean it. Every Marine is trained how to shoot, and to kill, in boot camp. It doesn't matter what your Primary MOS is, if they need someone on the front line, and they look in your direction, you're going.
So yes being a Marine means a lot to me, even after 15 years of being out of the service. Even though I was, "just a cook," and even though I was fortunate enough to never have been in combat. I knew going in that I could be sent at any time and not come home.
So for everyone that signed up, and managed to come home I say, "Thank you for your service." for those that didn't come home, either completely, or mentally, or physically intact, again I say, "Thank you for your service, and thank you for your sacrifice."
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