Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Stupid Little Brothers

From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli. We fight our country’s battles, in the air, on land and sea. First to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean. We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine! Ooh-rah! Semper Fi!

While at work today, I glanced out my window to see some cadets across the street that are training for a career in law enforcement and I said to my co-worker that it reminded me of my days in the Marine Corp (which of course I never attended or was a member of) and she said “You were in the Marine Corp?” I laughed and told her no and told her a story of when I worked at another office I jokingly told another co-worker that I had been a drill instructor in the Marines and she believed me and a few days later brought her young daughter to meet me. I was so embarrassed to admit I had just been kidding and this poor woman brought her daughter to meet me because she had admired my accomplishment. 

So then I sang my current co-worker Angie, the Battle Hymn of the Republic and she didn't know that was their song. 

Then I showed her the technique the cadets across the street were learning, on how to control riots with their batons and how to move as a group. 

Since I had a captive audience (literally because we’re at work and neither of us can go anywhere) I started telling her some of the sayings that my brothers (both ex-marines) had taught me when they got back from Boot Camp. 

This is my Rifle and this is my gun; this is for fighting, the this is for fun! 

I of course had to make that same gesture as in the photo. C'mon! We were just having fun and sometimes at work you have to take a break and just laugh at yourself and each other!

Then I told her there is a serious one about the Marine and his gun: 

The Creed of the United States Marine

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!

I remember my brother Fred when he got home from Marine Corp Boot Camp reciting that to us while my little brother Jaime watched, knowing that someday he would follow in Fred's footsteps.

As I typed that it reminded me of the fact that while my brothers were learning these things and receiving training to protect and serve their country, to me they were just my stupid little brothers! But they returned as men!

I hope my little brothers know how much I admire and respect what they did for their country. Neither of them actually had to fight during a war, but they were prepared. They left home, family and safety to take their turn at protecting their country.

Wow, I didn't mean for this post to be about my brothers but I guess that is where my heart led me, stupid little brothers...I love you both.

My Brothers with our Dad
My Brothers with our Mom



  1. I was in the Air Force and of course we are bigger on airplanes than rifles. So while I didn't have a rifle, I did have about 100 F-4 Phantoms that I worked on.

    My contact with rifles was somewhat laughable. Once a year I had to qualify with a M-16 (on the grounds of what now is Victorville Federal Penitentiary), so I touched an M-16 all of four times in my service career.

    At my base in California, I was on the alert roster which I qualified for by principally being not married. We were the forward tactical warriors (well that might be a tad strong term for an airplane repairman) who could at a moment's notice run out to the flight line with our tool boxes and duffle bags ready to go and board a C-130 and fly to any trouble spot in the world, commandeer a hunk of straight highway, and convert it into a operational tactical fighter base within 72 hours. Wow! I would have liked to see that happen. Well that was the theory anyhow. From a practical stand point it meant that once a year always on a Saturday morning, the siren would go off on the base at 0500 and we would muster to the pre-arranged rallying areas on the flight line. Here we be issued an "M-16", and assigned a C-130 tail number that we were to fly out on. The weapon was sort of a virtual M-16, actually it was a piece of oak tag with a number and a string on it, and you dare not lose it. If you lost this piece of paper, it was the equivalent of losing your weapon and you would be punished for it. Yet curiously we were not allowed to tie the tag on to our uniform (the equivalent of carrying an actual rifle with a should strap). That would be cheating and a violation of the uniform. So you folded the paper M-16 and put in in your fatigue shirt's pocket...which thoughtfully had a button specifically designed to help you retain your virtual M-16. When ordered "airman present your weapon for inspection" you unbuttoned your shirt pocket and gave the inquiring zebra the piece of paper. But also don't forget and let the bastard walk off with it. That would get you in trouble too. As valuable as this training is, it seemed to me that the Air Force could have afforded to buy some Daisy air rifles and just made sure they didn't give us any BBs. We would have shot our eyes out.

    Too long continued next message.

    1. Excellent! I'm hooked. I had to go back and read that, I thought they gave you an Oak M-16 with a tag attached and wondered why you didn't just leave the tag attached to the Oak M-16. I could imagine you guys marching around with baseballs as guns :)

      It's a shame you never got to gly to some far-off place to commandeer a hunk of highway. Now that would be a story!

  2. Continued from above.

    So we would then commence waiting for the C-130s to land. The base logistic folks would drive all the equipment for fixing the aircraft out to the loading locations with fork trucks. Each 130 would carry so much equipment and so many troops. So we would wait and wait and wait and then wait some more. At some point a bagged lunch was provided, we were not allowed to leave. Then suddenly a zebra with a bull horn would call out a tail number. All the guys with that tail number would march out with their tool box and duffle bags (and of course their M-16) to the aircraft which would be sitting next to the equipment that it was supposed to take. The aircraft were difficult to see, because they were virtual too. We had no idea that they had landed and were being refueled and loaded while we were waiting. So you would march out to a bunch of palleted equipment and check in with the crew chief of the C-130. He was real but an actor. Crew chiefs tend to be sergeants or staff sergeants (3 or 4 stripes) these guys were zebras and super zebras (6 to 8 stripes) chosen for their prickliness--yes the things on cactus and whatever else comes to mind. You had to check in with them, show your dog tags--military ID, open your tool box (it better have tools in it) and they would kick your duffle bag and it better be heavy and not filled with fluffed up newspapers. You also had to present your M-16 for inspection. They being super zebras would also take an opportunity to check your uniform, haircut, beard, shoe shine, and general espirit de corps (of which I thoroughly lacked--excuse me while I gag on the chicken shit...not to mention that the base laundry didn't always get the crease through the star on the chevrons on your sleeve--sometimes missing the chevrons altogether which would elicit a comment from the zebra which I parried back by showing the laundry ticket safety pinned to the inside of my shirt. That put them in a bit of a quandary, the base laundry employed moonlighting NCOs and we peasants were encouraged to use it. A lot guys didn't want to spend the money and the laundry was a bit heavy on the starch. I hated ironing, to me it was a bargain, and I loved when one of these many striped idiots commented on my creases and I could flash the laundry tag at them.)

    Then we would mill around for an hour or so, then get ordered back to the rallying points. After all the virtual C-130s were loaded and crewed by the make believe crew chiefs, the virtual planes would all virtually take off to the wild blue yonder. Then around 1300 to 1500 hours the siren would sound again, just a short blast this time. We would check in again at our rallying point, surrender our weapon, and leave. The zebras would all head over to the NCO club and make up for lost time--nobody got drunk on the night before an alert, and life went on. It was a boring long day, ah but we demonstrated we were ready.

    Theoretically, no one was supposed to know about the alerts. They were supposed to be a surprise. It could be real, you could theoretically be flying out. The entire base knew about it at least a day in advance. Your shop chief got you clued in that you will have your ass on the flight line at 0500 in the morning and you will not be a source of embarrassment to him...(be sober, shaved, have your dog tags and ID, have real tools in your tool box and real clothes in your duffle bag, and don't lose your weapon).

    1. Oh darn...duty calls and I have to get back to work. Will save and read this 2nd part after I get home this evening!

    2. Military life...hurry up and wait right? Virtual aircraft? Hilarious! That must have been a sight...all those virtual aircraft flying off into the wild blue yonder and you without a camera! Well at least it was something different to do right and even though you weren't thrilled at the time, you have the memory to look back on. Military life is not easy and not as glamorous as you see on TV that is why I give you guys some much credit and why I thank you Sir for your service. You may not have seen action, just like my brothers never saw action, but you were ready for it. Kudos to you!

  3. I rather like my comment and I am going to post it at my blog, it can use any help it can get.

    1. Some of the best posts that I have written (at least I think so) have come from copying comments I've made on your blog. Always awesome to write something that makes others think and inspires them!

  4. Great post alicia. I think I would love working with you.

    1. Thanks JarieLyn. When you work in insurance you have to take your fun where you can get it. Nothing dryer than the insurance business, but we kinda love it at times :)


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