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A Marine one Day?

We got off the bus on Paris Island where we had orders to train. The drill instructors screamed, kicked us, and played games with our brains. Everyone could see that I was the little guy; why would they pick me, to pass out chrome domes and cartridge belts as fast as could be? Some say the games they play seem to mess with our minds. But we soon realized this type training was done to save our sad behinds.

We were located in a room next door to the mess hall but we never got a chance to eat. We were starving for food but, our minds were on other challenges we must meet. For sure, 12 hours had passed. How long would it be? We felt we had been sitting for ages, and other soldiers had eaten two meals, maybe three.

I started to wonder what do all the others think? After sitting here for more than 12 hours, something started to stink. This smell was quite different from smells coming from the mess hall. I recognized this nasty smell and it seemed like so did we all. Before another thing occurred, it was not difficult to see, that that water running across the floor, certainly was pee.

I thought, oh my God, what did someone do? We were not even allowed to move, but the pee was running all under my shoe, and into a floor groove. The stream forked and now there are three streams, and one made a move that was neat, it streamed quickly to my neighbors side and soaked his socks and feet.

We both knew that it could not be true, that this water came from me. We heard a shout and we both lucked out, as there were new troops coming in. I look at my neighbor he was relieved too, and we both had a grin.

Bang! The door flew wide open and here stands this huge man, wearing a Smoky Bear hat on his head, and a nightstick in his hand. He growled like a lion, a bear, and a wildcat too. We looked at him in awe and everybody knew. It was now in the air, and we could hear everybody say; if we follow this guy's leadership, we will all be Marines one day. He taught us how to stay focused on essential things. We learned a lesson on that very first day. Use nature and all it brings!

So, we did it! We follow his incredible lead. He taught us how to live and die together. He taught us even more. He encouraged us to love our country from shining sea to every shore. We made oaths to protect our county, and in our children, we planted this seed. We were taught to honor and love it and give it everything it needs. I joyously received my orders to fight a war and I was excited to go. Vietnam did not scare me, I was well trained to deal with that foe!

I landed in Okinawa, and I talked to the people in that place. I was surprised when they spoke honestly and told me to my face, that they believed that America was ugly, and I was almost an American too. I was so enraged that I did not quite know what to do. How dare they speak of me and my country in this strange and evil way? I was a United States Marine, and I had plenty words of my own to say!

I really did not understand them. It made me sad and angry, when they explained to me, things that made me wonder but I was too blind to see. Their demeaners seemed quite honest though . They seemed to care for all, it seemed to never mattered to them whether one was black, white, short or tall.

Still, I raised my voice in anger when they said that I was almost an American too. Maybe these people were confused. Let me give them some news. They really do not know me. Our lands are miles apart over land and sea. I wondered how did these people know all these things about me? They laughed at me and said; Do you really think when we speak of Americans being ugly we really speak of you? If this is what you think, here is something new too. If you ever became an American, and you still think still as they do, then for sure we can truly say that America's ugliness will also belong to you.

Just, John


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