I gave my OK for a guy to join the Marines

A young man who apparently holds me in high regard asked me for my blessings for him to go into the Marine Corps.

I gave it. I don’t feel good about it. I don’t like the U.S. being in Iraq, but I knew he would probably join anyway and he has no one who can support him in any decision he makes. (one parent is in prison and the other is unknown - his grandmother who raised him seldom knows or cares where he is)

He’s very proud and excited. I feel two-faced. I even promised I would attend his graduation from basic.

I know that the military will provide him whatever chance he has in life, but I still feel bad about this.


I feel like revolting hypocrite for saying this, but you probably did a good thing for him and he should be very proud of the fact you care.

This guy with no family will soon have thousands of brothers. I speculate he has been somewhat deprived of role models and comrades. this should help.

For what it’s worth, I knew a guy in high school who was a drunk. he went to college and drank himself to death. I know another guy who got shot to death by another guy in the same college–over a girl. I know 3 people who went into the Marines right out of high school. One went in as an ass, came out an ass, and died in a motorcycle accident. Another went in a drunk/stoner and is still serving a fine enlistment as a model Marine. The third went in as a good natured roughneck and, last I saw of him, he was a good natured man. I know 2 kids that died before they left highschool, another 2 who died in car wrecks before they graduated from college. I know one college grad who lives in a nuthouse. I know two guys who were killed in combat, and I miss them terribly. Etc.

I don’t think his career choice will have much affect on his destiny–not nearly so much as his character and his attitude.

You done good. I wish the young man all the best.

The service let’s a young person take control of his life and spend some time thinking. The money and education is pretty good nowadays.

Turning to your worries, remember if good men (of whatever gender) do not serve, bad men will. When we send our best out in the world we hope they will do us proud.

Of course Something Awful might happen. This is a risk all of us take. Should (God Forbid!) it happen, it is not your fault. Awful results sometimes come from excellent choices.

You did good. A young man needed a shoulder and a hand, you seem to have provided both. Good for you. And him. I am proud of you.