I've had the oportunity to watch a few video clips on YouTube of recruits entering both recruit depots but mainly Parris Island where I went… phew… what a rush that early July morning of 1971. What I was about to encounter was just the head of a needle.
Scared and confused were the only words I can recall but, 'what have I done?', are the most prominent. I can remember being told, 'you joined us, we didn't join you!'
As a young man growing up I was jumped around from home to home but boot camp had no interest in my woes, what they did was show me my hidden potential and they gave me something that was absent from my life and that was PRIDE, in myself, the country and corps I would serve.
I want to take the time to thank my drill instructors, Senior Drill Instructor SSgt. Edwards, SSgt. Green, Sgt. O'Neal and especially SSgt. Fright whom on those mornings who would walk through the rear hatch and make my day pure hell by saying, 'jumping jacks forever or until I get tired, whichever comes first'… without you men only God knows how my life would've turned out.. I still wear my belt in alignment with the seam of my shirt and an eye on those Irish Penants… can't seem to stop after some 42 years. ONCE A MARINE, ALWAYS A MARINE…SEMPER FI.