JUST RUNNING ERRANDS
Had a few erands to run this AM, one was getting the SUV washed. Now before you enviroment minded people get on my case let me explain. Both my wife and I have had back surgerys, me only one, her 11. A full sized sedan sits too low for either one of us to get in and out of. Also with our periphal nueropthy due to our diabetis and arthuritis in my knees, it is mission impossiale, even getting up from a chair or reasturant booth without arms is difficult. Our six cylinder Chevy Trail Blazer lets us step in and out without difficulty. Now when her neice had her Surban it set too high for comfortable entering and exiting. And when my grandson put lifts and big wheels on his GMC I needed a milk crate to get in and out. So thank you kindly just keep your negitave comments about my little SUV to yourself.
Back to the meat of my story. Between the cafe where I had breakfast and the car wash the USMC Enlistment center is located. Since I was alone on this expidition I decited to make a stop. The two Sgt.’s on duty looked young enough to be my grandson”s, however they were very polite and answered my questions politely. And I was able to find out what some of the symbols on the recruit schedule I have been using to follow my grandsons progress means. And yes, Strikes and Counter Strikes does mean hand to hand combat training as does Chokes he will recieve tomorrow. And today was swim training, including the thirty food drop into the water. I inquired if they still learned how to manuver on the carco nets, and recieved blank expressions in reply. After explaining what I meant they both shook their heads and asked if I used them. It was my turn to explain that in my day we were still a Amphiban force, that helicopters were not in use as troop transports. And yes we disembarked over the side of ships by cargo nets into waiting landing barges. They were looking at me like I had appeared out of the dark ages. I was wearing my Old corps t-shirt and I guess they were convinced that the shirt had it right.
We looked at their large poster that represented the smaller one that I had coppied out of the Parent Guide to Boot Camp I borrowed from my son. And confirmed that Big J will be heading to Pendelton this Sat. for phase two , rifle training (see preceedng blog). I also inquired about the field training he will recieve there and the CRUCIABLE ( it is always in capital letters, that is how intense it is). Field week is spent in the field learning manuvers. The Cruciable is three days of intense training with little sleep or food. they are put into situations where small groups of them have to work together as a unit. For instance one of them might simulate a wounded Marine and they might be low on ammo , they have to figure how to get the wounded one to aid and how to best use their limited ammo. Difrent tight situations will be thrown at them in this three day period. Constantly under pressure, preparing them for combat situations.
I told the young Sgt.s thank you, and commented to them that I felt these young men today were enduring harsher conditions than we did in my day, they seemed supprised to hear that from one of the Old Corps, but the look on their faces seemed to indicate that they agreed with me. Once again I must express my pride in our Corps. I just read in the paper last week that the Army is atempting to recruit in overseas possesions such as Guam, and some of the other Islands to bolster recruitment. And also in the same article they stated they were relaxing some of the requirments such as test scores, and allowing recruitment of convicted drug users, and some with criminal convictions and rasing the age limit. At the same time I saw a peice on the World Report, on the Armys difficulty with Gang Graffity on army equiptment. On the other hand the Marines are not accepting people who cannot make a certian score on the basic intellegence test. My grandson scored a 96, his friend only 36 and was rejected after trying twice. Maybe that has something to do with why us Marines have such a enduring pride in our Corps as opposed to the other branches. I recieve a Marine based news letter weekly, and consistently time after time there are letters from Marines who left the Corps ,and then after time inlisted into other branches, usually the Army or Air Force, who after years in them still refer to themselves as Marines.
Well as usual I’ve let this rambel ramble on too long.
so SEMPER FI to those who rate it.