Other Post Pretty awesome day


Mi Private
MI.Net Member
Jul 25, 2011
So I had a pretty awesome day today, as far as days go.

Woke up at 0400hrs, and got some PT in by myself, then made some Marines SWEAT! before breakfast. Always a good starter. Then I got an amazing e-mail which made me feel like I've done my job. (I included it down below). And then I had lunch with a guy who was at Iwo Jima when the US flag was hoisted. He had been awarded a Medal of Honour.

Dear Lt. [my last name],

I'm sure you don't remember me, but a few years ago, before 9/11, you trained me in boot camp at Paris. I decided to look you up, and found out you made Lieutenant. Congrats, Sarge. But the main reason I'm writing you today is because I needed to say thank you. I know I gave you more than my fair share of grief at basic, but you never gave up on me. Even when I was ready to give up on myself. You didn't let me quit, even though at points, thats exactly what I wanted to do.

My biggest fear in basic, was the wall. Not climbing up, no, but repelling down the other side. You see I was deathly afraid of heights. But even when the rest of the platoon had turned in for the day, and the other DIs had long since left the course, you still stood there, motivating me not to give up. I've been meaning to look you up for several months now. Just have been in the hospital due to combat related injuries. You see after basic I become an Apache Pilot, and am now currently a 1st Lt. Seams we're finally the same rank, huh Sarge?

I've just come off my second deployment in Iraq. And it ended, as I mentioned, with me taking injuries. But thanks to you, I am alive today. You see, when I was shot down, the way home was up to the top floor of a building, and to repeal down the side of it on the other side, where a Marine evac team was waiting for me. But when I got to the top of the building, and had set up my equipment, my old fear of heights came back. I was wounded, tired, terrified, and ready to give up. The enemy was right behind me, and I considered letting them finish me. But then your voice came back, crystal clear after all these many years, telling me "GET DOWN MARINE! ARE YOU GOING TO QUIT!? NO!!! REPEAL DOWN THAT WALL MARINE!" and motivating me, like you had done so many years ago at basic.

And because of your voice coming back to me, I gathered some strength and courage, and I repealed down the wall. And I ran the last 30 meters to the evac team. Just as soon as I was on the helicopter, the enemy emerged and the evac team opened fire. They had no idea who I was, and I none of them. But we were all Marines. They risked their lives to get me out alive. Sadly, my co-pilot was KIA. His body was completely destroyed, command told me to leave him. There was nothing I could do.

You taught me that as long as I stand up, there will always be a Marine to stand beside me. That it wasn't a question as to when my face was going to hit the mud, but rather if I got up or not. You taught me that when I did hit the mud and I reached out for help, and held my hand out high, that there would always be a Marine to grab me by the hand and pull me back to my feet.

But most importantly, you taught me never to give up on myself.

Since our time at Paris together, I have a beautiful wife of 3 years and son of 2 years. And because of you, I think, I get to see them again. So thank you, Sarge, for not giving up on me, when I was ready to give up on myself. Or should I call ya Louie now? We should have drinks some time, and maybe you can tell me about your Gunnery Sergeant.

I remember this kid all too well. Even ten years ago almost to the date now, I knew he'd be doing something one day. Well, as they say, Air Cavalry to the rescue! Getting this e-mail definitely made me feel like I've done my job. As a DI, we know that y'all who pass under our Smokey Bear don't like us, in fact you probably hate our guts, but when you're in combat, getting shot at, you'll be thanking God that you had a DI who trained you to do your job.