I went to the New River Marine Corps Air Station. It was just a normal visit to get groceries at the Commissary. Since the North Carolina heat made it feel like it was about 1,000 degrees outside, I stopped by the Wendy’s in the shopping center next to the Commissary. I noticed two new Marines – Geiger Tigers as they are sometimes called getting out of a cab. Camp Geiger is one of the first stops for many Marines after they graduate from Marine Corps boot camp. They report to Camp Geiger to attend the School of Infantry.
You could tell the young Marines I saw standing beside the cab were new. They were lean – I suppose from all the physical training new recruits go through while at boot camp. They had on their green uniforms – Charlies I believe they are called. They reminded me of a young boy in his first suit – a little awkward, but very proud. They are the bottom of the rung here – the newbies. They are the ones that the more seasoned Marines often smirk at when they drive by, perhaps remembering how green they themselves were when they got out of boot camp.
I really did not think about those young Marines for very long. I got my soda from Wendy’s and headed home. After all, I live in a town where I see Marines – young and old – all the time. Then I came home and saw on CNN.com that the two soldiers, missing since a checkpoint attack Friday, were found dead, brutally killed. When I heard they were missing, I prayed for their safe return, as I am sure many people across the country did. However, this time, our prayers were not answered. Then my thoughts returned to those two young Marines I had just seen – kids that were not even born when I graduated from college – and I began to think about the sacrifice they were willing to make. They joined the Marine Corps, knowing that we were at war and they would probably have to do at least one tour of duty in Iraq. Suddenly, I did not think of them as newbies, but brave young men who were willing to fight when our country asked them to.
So, if you have made it through this blog, take a little time today to think about all our military and pray for their safety and for the families of all the military we’ve lost in this war.
Marines showing off their equipment to civilians during the New River Air Show