The Marines.

These are good guys.  I’ve yet to meet one I did not like, and I’ve met many that I liked very well.

Less than 1% of the US population is in the Military, and 6% of the Military are Marines. Take that a bit further and I am told only 1% of the Marines work in the coveted roll of the Marine Security Guard Force at Embassies around the World.

The US has a consulate in Adana Turkey, where a detachment of Marines were installed for protection.  Before everything was set up for them, the Marines sent in a special group to watch until it’s ready for the “normal” group to come in.  This group had some acronym which basically stood for a special team for the initial entry into harmful areas.  Even though the Consulate did not require such a sophisticated group, they had to send them because of the attack at the US Embassy in Ankara on February 1st, 2013 which took the precious life of a Turkish guard.  This initial force had older and more seasoned Marines.  They take their job very serious.  As I stated years ago in writing, if you ask them a question and the answer is No, there is no way that answer will change.  No pleading, begging or bribery will get the answer changed.  And they are extremely polite in telling you, No.

I spent several weeks working in that location and got to know several of them personally.  They initially called me sir, as I did them; but over several weeks of joking around with them and seeing they indeed do have normal personalities, if there is ever such a thing, we resorted to first names.

I spent a few years in Afghanistan many moons ago and my first encounter with the Military, was when I stepped off a wore-out bus at a US base in Karshi, Uzbekistan.  It was the end of four long flights and a very fast bus ride through the streets of the city driven by a guy with only one good eye.  I stretched and looked up at the wet gray sky, then glanced to my right and notice a 30 cal machine gun pointed at me from an opening in a wall of Hescos – basically big cardboard boxes filled with dirt that will stop a rocket.

I jumped a bit, likely drawing a smile if not a chuckle from the eyes behind the weapon.  But it was a stark awaking of the magnitude of where I was.

Since then, I have developed an acute friendship with the Military, a tight bond with a few.  These are good guys.  Yes, there are some personnel that are not good to be around and I met a few in Afghanistan, but for the most part I find they have more common sense than many people on the street.

A few months ago, a good friend of ours invited the Marines to her apartment for a BBQ, and invited us.

I personally have become good friends with their boss – referred to as the “gunny”.  He describes himself as “An American by birth and Texan by the grace of God.”  So I explained to him that my mother likes Marines and would like a photo of them.  He replied, “Absolutely.” and spoke some command and the next thing I knew, we were standing for a photograph.  The picture is not very good but will work.

Marines2The man in shorts is the gunny and the dog is a bit crazy as most dogs are.  One thing about Marines, they may be tough, ornery and walk around with Popeye muscles, but they appreciate the value of “mother”.

This post is for you MotherDear.  Love D.