Carrie and I got in a bit of a disagreement the other day. The details aren’t necessary (because it wouldn’t make much sense), but I did come to a conscious understanding finally of why Marines remain Marines forever. It isn’t brainwashing, as some would like to believe. I am very aware of the negative aspects of the Marine Corps, and how slow the Marine Corps can be in doing the right thing socially. I’m also aware of our proud history and the understanding that the world would not be the same without the Marine Corps. That’s not bravado, that’s fact. However, that isn’t why I am proud to be a Marine. It’s not why I choose to keep it in my life.
You see, the people that I know that keep the Marine Corps in their life do so because of how being a Marine makes them a better person. This will be different for everyone. For me, being a Marine inspires me to do just a little more than I would otherwise. It motivates me to get off my lazy ass and do what needs to be done. It is was pushes me to work when I’d rather do nothing – because that’s what a Marine does. I choose to keep the best parts of the Marine Corps in my life, not because I was brainwashed, but because it made me a better person. I think the reason people can’t fully leave it behind is because they know that, for better or worse, there are some definite benefits to becoming a Marine. And that is what we hold onto. It’s in any human’s best interest to keep those things that make them a better person. That is what is instilled in Marines.
So maybe that isn’t so groundbreaking now that I write it out, but when it came to me the other day, it finally made sense. Maybe for those who aren’t Marines, but who love Marines can now understand a bit more why we are the way we are. I doesn’t explain everything, that’s for sure. But it hopefully sheds a little light on the mysterious heart of the United States Marine.