Marine Boot Camp Anniversary - 34 Years Today
Today marks 34 years since I arrived at boot camp and I first stepped on those infamous yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. It was the first time I had traveled by myself and the very first real choice I had to make in my adult life. I was scared at the time, not knowing what to expect. But when I graduated, I personally found boot camp to be very easy compared to the life I and my siblings had growing up in the very strict household that our father ran.
Yes, there were long days, but I recall growing up, many times working by flashlight to complete chores. Yes we did a ton of physical exercise and that was somewhat new(ish) to me, but I had been in soccer and wrestling in school, so I was not new to physical exercise (PT). Yes, we had to work and PT in the elements, but it certainly wasn’t the first time I had been working outside in the blistering heat or the down pouring rain (or heavy snow and freezing cold for that matter). Yes, we were constantly being yelled at by our drill instructors and that honestly felt like home. Now don’t get me wrong, it was challenging, it just wasn’t hard for me.
I honestly loved the Corps and I spent a little over 10 years as an active duty Marine and I loved it. My last duty station in Virginia Beach was my favorite tour. Not because of the beach (I seldom had time for that), but because I was an instructor and that allowed me the opportunity to help mold young minds and train them in the skills they needed to perform their military specialty. The downside of this tour was the long hours and 6 days a week schedule that I had to operate under. Coupled with a spouse working full-time and a young child, really made for some interesting times for sure.
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
There’s a big difference between what makes a ‘father’ and a ‘dad’ … A father is someone who believes that by donating his sperm for your creation, he has done his duty in life. A dad is someone who gets up every day and does whatever he can to put a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food on your table and works hard to help mold you into a productive member of society. I had a father and never a dad.