Marines sometimes think they are leaving the Corps when their EAS comes up or when "RET" is an acronym after their name. They take off the uniform and stop shaving for a month (or two…). They don't look back and start to enjoy their new-found freedoms as they make new friends and work new jobs. For many, the only remnants of the Marine Corps are the skills, attitude, and confidence earned through years of being "in the Corps".
But there comes a day when this changes in all of us. Marines eventually realize that they never really left the Corps. The Corps is deeply instilled in all facets of our lives. We may not see it every day, but every day we are positively affected by our experiences in the Marine Corps. At a certain point, we experience a revelation of the freedoms that we enjoy daily in that we actually were an instrumental part of protecting these freedoms.
More than that, we eventually realize that our worst days in the Corps were worth it, sometimes even more so than the best days, because we endured. We persevered. We did our best. We rose to the challenges and overcame obstacles placed in front of us. These worst days sometimes claim much of our being and the being of our fellow Marines, FMF Corpsmen, and FMF Chaplains. The burden of our sacrifices is many times unknown by the citizens we served, yet we did it with Honor, without regret, and without complaint. We carry it in our souls every day. <During hard times, how often have you said to yourself, "This is nothing. I was a Marine.">
Some of us realize these things quickly. But many of us don't fully recognize this until we are older (and I argue, wiser). When we reach this point, whether young or old, regardless of rank or service period or MOS, we realize that we are still in the Marine Corps, both in heart and soul.
You will be there eventually. You may even be there right now. And when you reach that point, consider serving again in a capacity that makes as much of a difference now as it did back then. The Marine Corps League serves much more than a gathering of Marines. The Marine Corps League exists because of Marines like you to help Marines and our FMF Corpsmen and FMF Chaplains.
Now it is the time in your life to serve again. To recharge the Brotherhood in your life. To engage in serving Marines and your community as only you and the Marine Corps League can do. You are that kind of person because you made the decision to earn the EGA when you could have done anything else. It is in the nature of a Marine to keep moving forward, and to keep taking the initiative to do what is right.
Join your local Marine Corps League. Simply show up for one meeting to see what the fuss is about. I promise you, it is not what you are expecting it to be. It is so much more. If you are a Seattle area Marine, seek me out at a meeting. I look forward to meeting you and introducing you to your fellow Marines, FMF Corpsmen, and FMF Chaplains. So don't put it off any longer. Your Marines need you.
Because if not you, then who?Semper Fi.