Part of me had already bought into the marketing bullshit they sell so well to young working and lower class kids who have no real future in their home towns. “The Few, the Proud, the Marines”-- see if you’re man enough to make the team. At eighteen, I had enough self doubt and thought if I could make it through boot camp and make it through the Marines, I could prove to myself and the rest of the world that I was a man.
It must be leftover primitive instincts in humans, especially males; that if you join a club and put yourself in harm’s way and survive then you have passed the initiation test of manhood for whatever culture you happen to live in. The ancient cultures did it throughout history. It has to be in the male DNA that has stayed in our make up over millions of years of evolution.
As I listened to the surf break against the shoreline I imagined what it must have been like for the young Marines coming ashore in the South Pacific during WWII; wading through the water with a hundred plus pounds of equipment in a backpack and a rifle in your hand.