Sounds like the author has some survivor's guilt. I understand the feeling of training for the Super Bowl only to be the water boy.
Coming to Terms With Being a Marine Who Never Went to War
I agree. I don't feel like that is what he is, after reading the article, I think that's what he feels like. I don't think any veteran who served during times between conflict is any less significant or less a veteran because they were never down range. But I understand the feeling.You train for the Super Bowl so you can hit the field as a player--combat-ready--whether you get on the field or not. A Marine who never goes to war is a Marine who is prepared to go to war at any time...not a water boy. Never a water boy. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen too.
We had a group of new privates waiting for us to return from Desert Storm. They were living in our living quarters when we returned. Quite a few of our guys gave them a hard time because they never deployed with us. But they ended up being good soldiers. That's something that can not be controlled by any individual. It just happens or it doesn't but I am certain you know that. :)I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for this Marine and his generation of Marines. They joined during the tail end of the war to fight but never got the opportunity. Meanwhile their friends who joined a year or two prior are walking around with campaign medals and possibly combat action ribbons. That may not be the end of the world for a supply officer, but it’s a hard pill to swallow for an infantryman. Unfortunately, there will always be more opportunities to fight. Our nation never tolerates peace for very long. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Water, Motrin, moleskin fix > 90% of any Marine's ills....That is very well written.
Nice to see some things never change over the passage of time and technology:
"I stumbled out of the vehicle into the arms of my boss, who carried me to our corpsman for treatment, which in typical Marine Corps fashion consisted of sitting down and drinking water."
I think it’s much harder when you missed a war by a year or two. Imagine if your friend enlisted a year before you did and he went to Afghanistan and you didn’t. That’s the authors generation.Cold War soldiers...many feel the same as the author...ftx's, FID's, and many injuries still leave a question in their minds.