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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Interview with a Marine

Following is an e-mail exchange I had over the last couple days with Ty P. He's a U.S. Marine stationed on board the USS Nassau somewhere in or around the Persian Gulf. He's a good friend of my oldest daughter. We in this household think he's very brave and can't wait for him to come home safe and sound.

Me: How old are you now?

Ty: I am 19 years old and will be turning 20 soon.

Me: How old do you feel now?

Ty: I would have to say that I feel anxious more than anything else, not homesick, not sea sick, but anxious, just for all the "little things" that I took for granted..like my own bed..and good smelling stuff, the whole boat smells really bad.

Me: When and how did you decide you wanted to be a U.S. Marine?

Ty: I knew I wanted to be a Marine the first time I saw one, they just walked different. They held their heads high, perfect posture, and just looked like they knew what they wanted, and how to get it. And the veterans college grant for illlinois is out of this world, it's a great program, so it saves my parents the money.

Me: Now that you're a Marine, are you a badass?

Ty: I wouldn't consider myself a badass, but I do know a lot of badass Marines. I would say I'm more or less a smartass more than anything else.

Me: Why is it that U.S. Marines have such a badass reputation?

Ty: Marines are known to be badasses because of their past. The Marines have a very successful history of winning battles and saving the army. And unlike the other services, we are perfectly capable of missions in air, on land, and at sea at all times. Marines can be anywhere in the world in 24 hours to enjoy a nice asskicking session.

Me: Without disclosing any military secrets, what are your duties on board that boat?

Ty: My duties are pretty much limited to my job, which is loading ordnance on the helicopters and arming and other maintenance pertaining to ordnance.

Me: How many feet is it from the deck of the boat to the water?

Ty: Well, it varies with how much we have on the boat at one time: helicopters, jets, humvees, troops, food. It ranges from about 50-70 feet, it doesn't look far, but from the ground, it's just surreal to look at how high we are when we're up there.

Me: What do you recommend for seasickness?

Ty: Sleep, sleep, motrin, sleep, and less nicotine then normal.

Me: How's the food? What's your favorite dish? Can you get seconds?

Ty: Food is extremely rare here on the boat, we are however, served remnants of dog food, or at least we're convinced that. While bringing on food in a reshipment, some of the boxes had "for prison or military use only" stickered on...overall, it's pretty disgusting. My favorite meal would have to be the omeletes, they're made on the spot, and you can watch them cook them, and they've got just about anything you could want in them. You can get seconds, but it's for the best that you don't.

Me: I'm pretty good at "debriefing." What are my chances of getting to debrief a big hairy sweaty Navy man?

Ty: Well, your chances are probably pretty good, but once i'm off of this boat, i will hopefully never see another sailor again, so you'd be on your own trying to find one.(Sailors and Marines haven't always got along that well)

Thanks Ty! Take care and keep in touch.

Posted by Marie at March 26, 2003 5:52 PM

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