We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The name Marine still and always will mean something special, the best, and our ranks and merits grow with each generation. In addition, maybe a bit out of form, but yesterday a young friend on active duty in the Navy in his pure dedication to why he serves, patriotic idealism that does not expect or demand recompense, reminded me of how I felt 44-years ago when I dropped out of grad school and enlisted in the USMC as an enlisted man. The USMC was all enlistees then. Now all branches are enlistees. Today's military are committed professionals fired by love of country. We are all Semper Fidelis now and I welcome the other servicemembers into our fraternity.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention, Marines are still and will always be the best. And, Always Faithful, as you can see from this special story, special but not untypical.
Carry on, Marines, for another 237 years. There is no one that can replace you. Specialists may do better on smaller tasks but when the country needs a large can of whoop ass, you're it, and the best there is at it.
Well hell. On a more sensible tack, the word that struck me in the video above was idealism, an attempt to make the world a better place for others. That was surely true of me, at eighteen, volunteering for the first of two tours in Vietnam.
I swear, I was motivated by wanting to help folks live in greater freedom than their/our foe offered. That was it. I wasn't alone in my beliefs among my fellow Marines.
Today though, I, and my fellow Marines of the period are considered to have been mere pawns in a larger political game. There may be some truth to that assumption.
But for the boots on the fucking ground it was a very real attempt to secure freedom for others.
You're plenty articulate, XRay. I too sometimes resent being played as "those tools of the capitalistic empire-building elites." I know plenty of Vietnam-era Marines who were just post-war kids raised correctly and who had noble reasons for joining us. Some kids today aren't all different.