Woah, ease up there hard charger! Finish reading the article first and then go grab that drink. In fact, I have a very important mission for you at the end of this article, so read on. Now that we understand the plan of the day, let’s proceed. For a moment in time last week, the internet took a back seat to the physical reunion as Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines who served 2 deployments to Iraq, one of which I was a part, reunited to honor and celebrate the life of Marine and Memphis Police Officer Sean Bolton who fell in the line of duty. Unfortunately having just left Memphis a few days earlier for a move across the country, I was unable to attend myself, but I watched with envy from afar as Marines of multiple generations reunited, shared a few drinks, and made a few more memories before the reaper comes to take them too. And it was with that observation, I realized that the Veteran community is slowly becoming a bunch of internet nerds.
The Online Veteran Community
Now, ease up again there hard charger! I am not saying to quit reading my blog or any of the online communities we have grown to love. If you quit, I will find you and write horrible things about you to the world. The fact is, online military communities are spectacular. They have served as a medium to connect Veterans from multiple generations while allowing us to re-live our twisted humor, share in each other’s pains, and motivate one another to tackle life this side of war. Sure, sometimes we have gotten a little out of control as online Veteran rage can swarm like locust and trash someone’s online life. But that just replicates real military life. I can vividly remember a near Company on Company fight in 29 Palms because one Marine kept chanting, “Arkansas Rice Farmers” to a Marine from Arkansas. Sure it seems silly now, but in the minds of inebriated Marines it was a cause for mortal combat. However, I agree with Terminal Lance’s diagnosis that we all need to chill out a bit. Most of my Veteran rage has been limited to ISIS and those douchebag frat guys that spit on wounded veterans. Pretty much everything else, I am just having a bit of fun with as is my style. But in the end, you do what you want.
But here is where I fear we are missing the mark. It would seem that we have grown content with sharing a Facebook group together as opposed to actually getting together and sharing a drink and cigar for old-times sake. And in my opinion, that is slowly turning us into some straight up Poindexter Booger eating Lamda Lamda Lamda, Nerds. May it never be! Before I left for Washington State, I got together with the War Buddy you see above smoking a Cigar with me. We had some beverages, smoked a cigar, and reminisced until the wee hours of the morning about times long gone. I had not seen this guy in probably 7 or 8 years which was way too long. Then at the end of the evening/morning, I decided to crash, he went out to smoke a cigarette, locked himself out of the house without his phone, and then tried to climb over the fence which crashed in on him. He reports lying there for about 20 minutes with the crashed in fence laying on top of him, looking up at the night sky, smoking another cigarette, and musing about his fate. Then he went and slept in his car until I woke up. And with that, one more hilarious memory, if not the last with Corporal Curry was made. He was less amused at the time, but by morning we couldn’t help but laugh it off as most good stories in the Marines so often end.
The Lamentation of the Delayed Reunion
Yet, fun times aside, I think you all know the importance by now of reaching out to a war buddy. Most of you know what 22 a day means and I won’t go into it any further. In the end, whether it is at the hands of our struggles this side of war, a piece of trash cop murdering low-life, or a falling coconut, we simply don’t know how much longer we have with one another. I can remember as a child, my WW2 Veteran Grandfather being dropped off at a reunion for his MP company when he was in his 70’s. I remember it vividly because I honestly don’t think I have ever seen this hard man as giddy as he was that day. He had showed me the purple marks of the shrapnel from D-Day still in him. He had talked often how war was hard, but as a child, it never made sense. Yet, he was euphoric and couldn’t wait to get out of the car for a reunion with his war buddies. It didn’t make sense at the time, but now I know. For should I live to be 70, I would pee my adult diaper at the thought of reuniting with the Marines with whom I served in Iraq. Sure, our beloved Platoon Sergeant Gunny Brown might be 80 something at that point, but I am betting he could still fit his boot up the rear of any of us slackers with the support of a good walker! That line was for you Shane!
The picture you see is of Kilo Marines at the funeral of Officer Bolton. What at shame to consider what it took to finally make that happen. Time waits for no one gentlemen and while the internet is a great band-aid at the heart of what we really long for, it will never take the place of a drink, a cigar, and whatever the Senior Citizen version of an NJP might be. We earned it brothers. Don’t let the internet take its place and don’t wait until it is too late. We of course must move on with our lives, but even high schools take the time to reunite. So how much more so should it be with us who chewed the same foreign dirt together, had field conversations that would make the face of the Politically Correct melt, and yes, ganged up to kill some bad dudes together.
And with that, I leave you with this mission. Take this article and share it with the War Buddy with whom it is time for a reunion, the online community where you congregate, or even the page you manage with the following quote. “Neeerrrrrrrdddddssssss” Ogre. Then goad your buddies into a reunion before it is too late. 22 of them won’t be here tomorrow to say nothing of those who might fall for a variety of other means. Most of us accepted death as an option in combat and the hard truth is that it is no more dormant here than “over there.” I won’t get that opportunity often where I live now,and yet if one or two more reunions like myself and Corporal Curry pop up across this nation as a result of this article, then I will call that a win. Stop being internet nerds only my brothers. It displeases Ogre. Reunite today.
If you would kill for one more drink with your War Buddies, like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below.