Marine Corps LESSONS LEARNED:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
Welcome to my website!
When I retired (for the third time in 2016), I pulled out the Rubbermaid boxes and went to work, sorting pictures, letters, keepsakes, and precious memorabilia. There was so much I had forgotten. I looked back at my life and realized I have many ‘books’ in me (we all do) and I felt the need to get my stories down in print, to leave a legacy for my grandchildren since I never knew my grandparents. I decided to start with my Marine Corps career, both active duty (January 1974 to July 1981) and as a reservist for twenty-plus years, attending drill weekends and two weeks of ADT (Active Duty for Training) each year. I also had the opportunity to spend extended periods of active duty including two full-years after 9-11. It’s important that I write about both the active duty and reserve components I served. Although ALL are United States Marines, there is a distinct difference between the two.
I was never deployed to the ‘sandbox’ as so many of my modern-day sister Marines have been, but in thirty years I’ve experienced many major challenges, both rewarding and heartbreaking. Women Marines of today will get a laugh at what boot camp was like in 1974, running a 600 yard PFT and carrying around a tube of little red-red lipstick, yet in the end, I carried a weapon, ran the three-mile PFT and got promoted to Master Gunnery Sergeant (E-9). I am amazed in thirty short years the transitions we went through. I met the challenge through the years shaping my life and future endeavors giving me experiences beyond my wildest dreams.
But with the good there was some bad. I was raped at gunpoint by a stranger in a hotel while on recruiting duty; I was later a victim of a domestic assault by my husband, a retired Marine who tried to kill me, and ultimately ended up in a nightmare divorce. (If you’re a reservist and look forward to a retirement, you had better learn everything you can about reserve retirement points!)
I hope this blog, and my future memoir, will be a lesson on what I did right and what I did wrong. Throughout my career, ‘I improvised, adapted and overcame.’
Now I’d like to share my stories. I look forward to your comments and hope you will share similar experiences and stories with me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Semper Fi