Not too long back I sat down and fired off a ramble about the treatment my grandson was reciving in his new unit.  That was a grandfather and a NO LOAD  MARINE  (no longer on  active duty) spouting off.

     Now I must return to my active duty days fifty years ago and look at from the other side of the row.  The grandson has joined this unit as a diffrent millitary occoupational service number , a radio operator.  He did not take any of his or their prior trainning together.  He has joined this unit who have already bonded together as a outsider.

     To further compound the rift that exists between them, he has come into the unit as a married  Marine who has chosen to accept  the off base living allowance and bring his wife into the picture.  This means he lives off base and has to bring his own lunch with him.  He does not live on base, eat or socialize after hours with them.  Except for the days spent on manuvers. He is basically an eight hour shift Marine.  This I know, from my time long years ago, makes him a “lesser” Marine than the twenty-four hours aday, seven day a week Marine.  There is now way around  it, it is just they way the guys think and feel, they see him as less committed than they are.

     While it seems unfair to one on the outside looking in, in a way it is true, for his mind is on the young woman at home, while he is out there trainning with the other guys.  He is worrying about how to stretch the incoming pay check to cover the rent, buy groceries, and cover the other neccesities needed to make it through to the next pay day.  These are worries that the young men living on base do not have.  Blow your money early, you still have a bed, shower, and food three times a day – you just sit tight until next payday.  There are rec. rooms on the base for entertainment and buddies you can hang with.

        So in the overview I can understand both sides.  Soon he will return to Twenty-Nine Palms, in California, for his desert warfare training.  There he will have to live with the unit  for the duration.  He will sleep in the dirt and sand, bake in the July or August heat with the other guys.  Here they will have to learn how to work together as a unified command.  Here also his speciality will begin to prove it’s worth to the rest of the unit.  In just a short time the command will deploy to overseas opperations.

        Right now he is very displeased with his commitment to the Service.  I hope once he is relieved of the stress of trying to balance a domestic life with commitment to the Corps, it will make him the same Marine I saw after graduation from boot Camp and The School of Infantry.  On those days I observed a young man filled with pride and self accomplishment.

A ramble by a concerned grandpa

..and a no load Marine.

comming soon the final installment of





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