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THE MARINE
3/1/2017 6:37:06 PM

Subject: Marine
> dad Thought you might
> like this.
> .This is a well written
> article about a father who put several of his kids through
> expensive colleges but one son wanted to be a Marine.
> Interesting observation by this dad. See below. A very
> interesting commentary that says a lot about our
> society. By
> Frank Schaeffer of the Washington Post Before
> my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was
> defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the
> coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a
> picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I
> read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I
> cry. In
> 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in
> dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in
> the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand
> these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless
> uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher
> education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels
> for a living. I have never served in the
> military. It had
> been hard enough sending my two older children off to
> Georgetown and New YorkUniversity. John's enlisting was
> unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the
> prospect of answering the question, "So where is John
> going to college?" from the parents who were itching to
> tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to
> Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other
> students were going into the military.
>
> "But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?"
> (Says a
> lot about open-mindedness in the Northeast)asked one perplexed
> mother while standing next to me at the brunch following
> graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good
> student," said another parent. One parent (a professor
> at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a
> school meeting and suggested that the school should “
> carefully evaluate what went wrong." When
> John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris
> Island, 3000 parents and friends were on the parade deck
> stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many
> races but also were representative of many economic classes.
> Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of
> pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents
> could not afford the trip. We in
> the audience were white and Native American. We were
> Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian. We were
> former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least
> baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were
> Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New
> Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and
> white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse
> tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated
> and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John’s
> private school a half-year before. After
> graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a
> Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've
> probably killed you just because you were standing
> there." This was a serious statement from one of
> John’s good friends, a black ex-gang member from Detroit
> who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like
> I'd die for him." My son
> has connected me to my country in a way that I was too
> selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to
> the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest
> friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the
> same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks
> me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger
> brother is in the Navy. Why
> were I and the other parents at my son's private school
> so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons
> and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did
> their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War
> was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college
> dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to
> volunteer for military service once that war was done?
> Have we
> wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the
> world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having
> somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy
> when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite
> universities are far more likely to be put in harm’s way
> than are any of the students whose dorms their parents
> clean? I feel
> shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps
> to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope
> because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest
> generation. "As the storm clouds of war gather, at
> least I know that I can look the men and w



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