Marines Know What They’re About

It’s fun being around people who know that they’re trying to do….

On July 11, my grandson, Taylor, graduated from Marine Boot Camp in San Diego, continuing the military tradition of both his grandfathers. I was there (in uniform!), but his maternal grandfather was not. Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you why.

Taylor Salute

According to the program they gave us at the graduation parade, Marines “make Marines and win battles.” And making Marines is all about transformation–transformation that begins in Boot Camp and continues throughout a Marine’s career. However long the Marine serves, he will return to civilian life eventually, and The Marines feel that they have made a better country by sending “men and women of strong character back to society.”

And the Marines don’t wait to make that contribution to society. Taylor’s other grandfather, Mac, Viet Nam veteran and retired Army helicopter pilot, waited at home during Boot Camp, suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Mac passed away on July 24, less than two weeks after Taylor’s graduation, having seen his grandson become a Marine. In the Air Force, death of a grandfather might get you a couple days’ leave for the funeral. Taylor, having already returned to California for more training, got 10 days, and he wasn’t even on leave–he reported to a local recruiter. The Marine philosophy is that families need a Marine at a time like this.

I’m proud of my grandson. I’m proud of the Marine Corps. And I sometimes wish churches were as serious about real transformation as the Marines are.

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