Recently Maj. Nathan Blackwell, OIC of Marine Recruiting in WI, the UP, and N. Il., spoke to the Wi Chapter of the Third Marine Division Association about the challenges of recruiting.
I said that many young folks or their parents rejected the woke military. He replied that her couldn't change the national commander structure, he could only concentrate on his own area, making his part of the Corps as good as possible to face future emergencies, and hope that the national mood may change. I thought that was good advice and wrote the following oped to submit to the madison paper. I encourage you either to write something yourself or to submit my oped to your paper. Feel free to crib from mine. Try to stay under 500 words to have a hope of it being published. Semper Fi. ~ Bob
You have a lot to think about. Things like inflation, your family, the holidays, the opioid crisis, your job, and maybe losing weight or stopping smoking.
I would like you to take a moment to think about something else: your Marine Corps. And your Army, your Navy, your Coast Guard, and your Air Force. Oh, it’s nice when someone sees my Marine cap and thanks me for my service. It was a privilege to wear the uniform.
But saying “Thank you” isn’t the support your military needs. I say “your” because as a taxpayer and an American citizen, the military not only protects you, but it belongs to you. If it fails, the country fails, your way of life fails. What is happening in the Ukraine can happen here. It will happen here without a strong military. The comfortable life, the freedoms you take for granted, even life itself can be lost. Without a strong military, they will be lost. Si vis pacem, para bellum
Service in the military has gotten a bad rap. I saw a tweet from a college woman that said, “People go into the military because their (sic) too dumb to go to college.” A Marine tweeted back, “They’re.”
Many teachers, principals, and college professors actively discourage young people from serving. But they would be the first to scream if they had a government like our near peer adversaries Russia or China dictating educational policy.
Service in the military often enhances a person’s education. I was a “D” student in high school. My skipping record will never be broken. No way was I going to college. But four years in the Corps gave me tenacity, resiliency, and self-discipline. I thank God daily for my Drill Instructors. At 76, I’ve had a happy and successful life.
After the Corps, I earned a BA in Government, getting As and Bs. The year I graduated, I was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, defeating an incumbent by nine votes. I served five terms, earning a Master’s at night and serving six more years in the Marine Reserves. Then I had a successful 31-year career in association management. In 2013, I had to retire to have a lung transplant; in 2020, the VA took the other lung out. Marine self-discipline carried me through against the odds. After my transplant, I worked four years as a part time writer-editor at the VA. Now I teach chess to kids after school for YEL.
Those who don’t want to go to college may learn a trade in the military.
Can they get hurt? Sure. But young people also die at home from drug overdoses or driving drunk.
So, encourage young people who might qualify (a majority don’t) to consider the service. Most will come out better people, better disciplined, better able to cope with work, life, and getting an education. Then you can thank them for their service.
If you do not wish to receive my emails, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll remove you from my lists.
Author: Quotes for the Conservative Heart: Ideas as Weapons of Defense
"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." --1st. Lt. Clifton B. Cates, Navy Cross, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, (later Commandant), USMC, July 19, 1918 commanding 96 Company, 6th Marines, near the French town of Soissons.
"Casualties: many, Percentage of dead: not known, Combat efficiency: we are winning." --Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, MOH, (later Commandant) Tarawa, 21 November 1943.
Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share. --Captain J.E. "Ned" Dolan, USMC (Ret.) Platoon Leader E/2/7, Korean War
We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life. --Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320
Athens had reached the point of rejecting independence, and the freedom she now wanted was freedom from responsibility. There could be only one result... If men insisted on being free from the burden of a life that was self-dependent and also responsible for the common good, they would cease to be free at all. Responsibility was the price every man must pay for freedom. It was to be had on no other terms. --Edith Hamilton, "The Echo of Greece"
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)