Friday, November 10, 2006
United States Marine Corps - 231 years old
Once a Marine. Always a Marine. That's what they tell us. That's what the instill in us through boot camp and beyond. It's been twenty-five years since I wore a Marine Corps uniform. But, I still feel that sense of pride and privilege on this special day. The USMC birthday.
Do I ever regret joining the Marines? Not for a minute. Being a Marine was one of the best things that happened to me in my life. They taught me how to stand on my own two feet and be proud of what I can accomplish, and most of all, they taught me to respect myself.
I think boot camp can help a lot of young men and women find faith in themselves. It can teach them self respect, respect for others, and give them a sense of pride. I would support our government if they chose to implement mandatory service for our young people. After high school graduation, too many times, our young people are cut off from the support of their family and their community and set adrift to try and make it one their own. Mandatory service could be their life line.
The skills that are learned in the Marine Corps boot camp will last you for the rest of your life. These are skills that can't be taught anywhere else. They must be experienced. Lived. Ingrained until they are second nature.
Most of all, I think the best thing that you can learn in the Marine Corps is pride for your country. Pride in your country. Pride in yourself. As an individual. A Marine.