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Thank you, Marine Corps
Posted By: Daniel Nelson 11-17-10
Just a short note to anyone who may be wondering what the Marine Corps can do for them. Prior to joining in 1997, I had limited contact with family, was running around with a less than desirable crowd and really didn't know what to do with my future. After a "joyous" 13 weeks at Parris Island, a few years in Japan, the Middle East and other places in between, I was able to spend the last year of active duty in Quantico, VA about 30 minutes from my parents. I was able to run the Marine Corps Marathon twice (right after 9/11... it was motivating. The Marine Corps changed my life forever. I learned to be disciplined, to assert and exert myself and to take orders and subsequently give orders to others. The Marine Corps gave me the gift of GI Bill, which, with my newfound confidence, I used to finish college and then go on to get a master's degree. The Marine Corps gave me my relationship back with my family (my dad, also a jar-head...was someone I just couldn't understand until I too had experienced it). I have been out 10 years now, and still have a few friends that are on active duty... I am jealous that they still get to wake up daily with that sense of pride, but I am so thankful for my life now. I have a beautiful wife, two daughters and a wonderful, successful career. HARD WORK PAYS OFF. Sometimes I wonder if I deserve all that life has given me, and then I remember my time in the Corps and say "hell yes I do". It may seem so "right now" when you join, but the friendships, hard lessons learned, and pride will last you lifetime. There's nothing better than meeting someone, finding out they too were a Marine and instantly having that sense of camaraderie and ability to just sit down and trade stories like you've known each other a lifetime.
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