Yesterday evening I was lucky enough to run into a few fellow veterans while I was picking up dinner, which is very rare where I live. I ended up having a beer with them because… well, camraderie. I’m an old Corpsman, and serving with the Marines was one of the best experiences of my life. It made me grow, it allowed me to think on my feet, and it allowed me to be a part of something greater than myself.
Civilians won’t understand. They can’t possibly understand. What makes it worse is that most people who know me know that I’m not a big fan of war, or harming others – but that wasn’t my job. Most of the time, a Navy Corpsman is embedded with his beloved Jarheads, gets razzed for being in the Navy (nowadays, they call us Ubers), and so on.
BUT. These are experiences the average civilian won’t understand, and when veterans get together… we may have never met each other before, but there’s a camraderie that I have never found better.
There were things I did that were stupid during that time, just like everyone else, but I had the ability to do those stupid things with a safety net and guides. I also got to do very smart things, which I did and fortunately that outweighed the stupid stuff.
My Marines were in good health, despite themselves, and myself and other Corpsmen worked hard to assure that.
It’s hard not to feel a little nostalgic over a beer or two. They went their way, I went mine, and all was well in the Universe.
They certainly made my day. Good times.
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