Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, USMC!

Today is the Marine Corps birthday.  To JD, this is almost MORE important than his actual birthday.  So I thought it was a good opportunity to share some quotes from a book he recently read, War by Sebastian Junger.
With as often as he’s tried to explain to me, and as hard as I’ve tried to understand, the ache he feels for the Marine Corps is not something I can fully grasp.  Why he loved being in dangerous, uncomfortable situations is beyond me.  I wasn’t married to him during the military days, and I think I would have a better understanding had I spent some time as a Marine wife.  He feels these quotes articulate what he hasn’t been able to explain on his own.
The first one helps explain why he wishes he could deploy again.
"When men say they miss combat, it's not that they actually miss getting shot at - you'd have to be deranged - it's that they miss being in a world where everything is important and nothing is taken for granted. They miss being in a world where human relations are entirely governed by whether you can trust the other person with your life."
The second one helps explain why war is so appealing to someone with ADD :)
"War is a lot of things and it's useless to pretend that exciting isn't one of them. It's insanely exciting. The machinery of war and the sound it makes and the urgency of its use and the consequence of almost everything about it are the most exciting thing anyone engaged in war will ever know...war is life multiplied by some number that no one has ever heard of. In some ways twenty minutes of combat is more life than you could scrape together in a lifetime of doing something else. Combat isn't where you might die - though that does happen - it's where you find out if you get to keep on living. Don't underestimate the power of that revelation."
This last quote is from the movie Jarhead.  This has always been my favorite quote of the movie, even before I really understood what it meant to be a Marine or love The Corps.   When some of JD's former troops deployed to Afghanistan, he was visibly upset for days.  He still feels a responsibility to them and feels guilt that he isn't there to lead and teach them now.
“Whatever else he may do with his life-build a house, love a woman, change his son's diaper-he will always be a jarhead. And all the jarheads killing and dying, they will always be me. We are still in the desert.”
Happy Birthday, Marines.  Thanks for all you do.

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