As a rule, I am the sort of fellow that allows people to have their opinions. Of course I will let them know that I disagree with their opinion when I do and that is that.
They are also free to disagree with mine. This doesn’t mean that we can’t still be friends.
Case in point came last night when a friend of mine asked my son what he thought he’d like to do when he got out of high school. At one time Kyle had said a policeman and another time, a fireman; both very noble professions.
However he surprised me when he said ‘a Marine.’
It was hard to sit silently and allow those two to continue their conversation but this is how it played out. My friend responded, “Why? So they can brain-wash you?”
Kyle answered, “They brain-wash people?” He looked over at me.
My eyes were fixed on the television waiting for my friend to answer him. I wanted to know what my friend had to say. I didn’t want to interfere.
My friend’s response was as I figured.
My friend stated, “I’ve had two friends who were brain-washed and they got all messed up while in the Marines.”
One got into drugs and the other one, well…he refused to ask for any kind of help. One could say he felt he was too ‘tough’ to need assistance from anyone.
Kyle responded with, “Oh.”
I continued to look away even though I wanted to defend the Corp with my last breath. That’s where the conversation ended.
Then, this morning I received a telephone call from this same friend telling me that they had just heard that President Bush had nominated U. S. Marine Corp. Lt. General Peter Pace to become the first Marine officer to serve as chairman of the U. S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
My friend was laughing at statements made from the night before because here was this news story about a God-fearing Marine. I took the opportunity to point out that my friends two buddies had forgotten one key element in Marine Corp training, which is that they do not have to rely on themselves to pull through tough times, whether personal or professional.
Marines are taught that they can always rely on each other.
They can rely on the Corp including the Corp’s rules, regulations and discipline. They can rely on family; their own or a buddy’s. And they can rely on God. And these things that they rely on don’t necessarily fall in this order each and every time.
And when a Marine says, “Semper Fi” that man or woman is saying more than just, “Always Faithful.” They are not speaking only of a way of life; they are talking about a way of living.