Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Marines and the Replacements

There are two things my Marine recruiter never told me about before I joined the Marines. On everything but these two items he was completely truthful. After talking to others who had joined the Marines I learned that, for a recruiter, he was pillar of truth. He didn't mention to me drill (marching in circles with an M-16 on your should with some guy going left, right, left, right.) and field day. Field days were the worse of the two unmentioned activities.

A field day is one evening every week, usually a Thursday or a Wednsday, where you are required to clean you barracks from top to bottom. And I mean clean. We're not talking picking up your dirty underwear and vacuuming. This is the kind of cleaning that requires scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees and polishing the pipes in the fucking bathroom. No matter how clean the barracks were it was guaranteed that the thugs in charge would find something not cleaned to their satisfaction. They would then chew out your immediate supervisor who would then chew your ass. I hated, hated, hated, hated field days. They served no purpose but to prove to you that those in charge have absolute power.

In the late 80's the Replacements came out with an album called "Don't tell a soul." On this album was a song called "Anywhere is better than here." When I purchased that album I was with an infantry unit in California that specialized in especially tough field days due to a Gunnery Sergeant that must have had a shitty home life. I used to blare that song on my stereo three or four times at different points during the three hour long field days. I have never had a song touch me so deeply. Even when I played the song and it was moving me I used to think that maybe I was being melodramatic. So far, in my post Marine Corps life, I have yet had that song proven wrong. I have been in some bad situations, all of my own doing, since then and never have I had the urge to put that song on. I still enjoy it when I hear it but it only reminds me of my past rage.

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