“Ooooorah!” I want to say this all the motivation possible. As much enthusiasm as one could have. But I just can’t. I’m the tip of the spear, the one who needs to be “moto” more than anyone, the one who is part of the forces that already hate thier job and normally aren’t very “moto”, but have no choice but to do it. I am not “moto” at all. I hate the Marine Corps; more what the Marine Corps has done to me, where they have put me. I love being a Marine and I love my job. Who else gets paid to drop 5 pounds of high explosive down a mortar tube to send it screaming as the speed of sound to rain hate, discontent and death upon people who hate us? I love the sensation of the shockwave hitting me when I drop a round. I love the smell of burnt gun-powder and CLP(the lubricant marines put on thier rifles) mixing together and filling my nostrils. But for some reason, a cruel twist of fate, I can’t do this close to the people I love. I’m not going to lie or try to sugar-coat it, everyday sucks. Not the entire day, just after I get off work and don’t have something really important to preocupy myself.
He woke up at 4:00. That probably sounds bad but he is used to it. He hurries through the processes of shaving and brushing his teeth. He then pounds down a red bull knowing it was going to be a long day and that he was going to need the boost from it. He double checks his locker to make sure he has everything for his trip. He then is reminded of where he is going to be in 48 hours and how that is about 5000 miles away from where he wants to be. He feels the stress setting in again. “Calm down, Joe.” he thought. He is then abrubtly taken away from his thoughts by the yelling of a combat instructor telling him and his fellow new infantrymen to get downstairs to form up for chow.
He is sitting down eating his chow but he doesn’t taste a thing. Not just because it’s really crappy food to begin with but he can’t help but think of whats coming so very soon. He knows that he has less than 24 hours to say ‘goodbye’. The thought of it makes him sick to his stomach and he pushes away his tray and just sips on overcooked coffee instead. Again he is seperated from his thoughts by instructions to move. It is time to head to the ceremony. Something he has been anticipating for the past 2 months. He and all his new infantrymen head to the gym for thier waiting families.
He is standing in the gym awkwardly. His family and loved one isn’t there yet. He nervously looks down at his watch and notes that he has to be in formation in 10 minutes. He hopes they make it before then. He moves from group to group of people making small talk with friends and thier families. All of them ask, “Are you excited about going to Lejeune?” He is forced to inform everyone who asks that he is not going to Lejeune. He is going to Hawai’i. “Just what I need, being reminded of it again.” he thinks. All the marines are called in for formation. His heart sinks because he hasn’t seen her yet. He walks to his pre-appointed spot in formation. Just as he gets there he sees his mother and twin brother walking in the gym and she is not far behind. He makes futile attempts to gain their attention from where he is and nothing comes of it. He studies her. From her face down to her brightly colored dress. He then moves back to her face. The look on her face would seem normal to 99.9% of people but all of those people don’t really know her. The expression on her face shows that she isn’t happy at all. She appears to be making an attempt to mask it but he sees through it.
He makes it through the ceremony. The speeches went in one ear and out the other. He felt out of place, like he didn’t belong there. He only caught the occasional bits and pieces of what was said. About how they were going to go on and do great things in the near future. How they were going to go on and punish those who attack our nation. How they were going to go “get some”. It gave him chills. He knew what that meant. He always knew that to be the truth. He wasn’t scared at all. He just couldn’t imagine being able to bear putting her through all that. “What the hell was I thinking?”, he thought. “You picked one hell of a time to fall in love with someone Joe. The way things were before everything would have been fine but no, you had to go and get strong feelings for this woman.” “She makes me so happy though, I didn’t know I’d have to leave.” he argued to himself. The ceremony ended. He broke away from his fellow marines as quickly as he could. He approached his family and girlfriend. He pretended to be excited to his mother and brother, which he was. But probably not like he should have. He hugged her and sensed a sort of coldness. It wasn’t the normal warm embrace he normally got from her. His mind was quickly taken away from this by conversations with his family. Them meeting some of his instructors and lots of small talk. She was unusually quiet. Soon they moved on to his barracks so he could change clothes and grab his bags. As fast as he could he changed in to civilian clothes, grabbed his bags and checked out. He threw his bags in the trunk of his brohter’s car and they all rode back to his house.
After they arrive at his house he and his girlfriend soon leave by themselves for a last date. They drive to her other parents’ workplace. They are very close friends and his girlfriend is very close with their kids. The daughter is one of her best friends and their son is her “hubby.” Mr. Lyons isn’t there but he meets Mrs. Lyons. She is very nice and he is under the impression that she likes him. He hopes it to be true. He knows she is like an aunt to her and making a good impression is important. They say their goodbyes to Mrs. Lyons and move on to spending time with each other. They go shopping and eat pizza. Nothing is mentioned of what is coming soon. They just talk about normal things like it’s a normal day. Not like it’s the day before he has to move 5000 miles away. Perhaps it was just both of them trying to pretend it wasn’t real. Like if they didn’t talk about it, it wasn’t real. Or maybe niether of them wanted the discomfort that came along with talking about it. They start to head back towards her house. He needs to say goodbye to her family. They stop to pick up some flowers for her youngest sister on the way and they see some of their old highschool friends. He was not excited to see them at all. Not because he didn’t like them or anything, in fact he was pretty good friends with some of them but he just hated that he was reminded of it again when they asked how the Marine Corps was treating him. They go back to her house and her family is there. He feels awkward in her house now for some reason. He is temporaily numbed from his discomfort when he see’s his girlfriends’ youngest sister light up when he hands her the flowers. The numbness doesn’t last for long and he is brought back to reality when he talks to her step-father. He never really liked her step-father that much. He disliked him long before he dated her. She told him things about him for years that slowly built up the case against him. He knew long before they fell in love he was not the father or husband he should be. But, like always he put his friendly face on and tried to be on her step-fathers’ good side. He seemed completly uninterested in the fact that his oldest daughters’ boyfriend and was leaving. He figured there should be some sort of emotion displayed. He knew that if he ever had a daughter and she was that upset about something it would make him upset too. They exchanged pleasantries and a handshake and that was all. His girlfriend and himself started to walk out the door to head back to his house because he had cousins to say goodbye to and they all had to meet her. As they walked out the door her youngest sister of 5 years asked her, “Wait, you’re not leaving for Hawai’i too are you?” “I wish…” he thought.
They arrive back at his house and some of his family is already there. It is a painful night for him. Not just because he knows he won’t see his family for a long time but becasue he is constantly reminded of how shitty his situation is. They all ask her, “I know you’re upset about all this. Are you going to move out to Hawai’i with him?” The answer is the same every time and it doesn’t feel any better with repitition. “Why can’t they just leave? I just want to spend time with her.”, he thought constantly throughout the night. They all leave eventually and it’s just his mother, brother, girlfriend, and himself left. He and his girlfriend go to his room and finished packing his bags. He felt like a piece of crap for asking her to help him but he had to pack and he didn’t just want to pack while she sat there and watched. He hoped that maybe her having something to do would help her keep her mind off of it. It kind of worked for him so he figured it could be worth a try. When his bags were finished they layed down on his bed. Most men would have tried to take advantage of the situation. But he had no desire to. One, because he genuinly loved her and just wanted to be there with her, to enjoy every possible second he could with her and two, because he is slightly scared to try and make a move on her. He doesn’t know what she is okay with so he doesn’t want to push the limits. I guess most guys don’t like a woman who will stand up for herself, a woman with a mind of her own that won’t hesitate to lay the smackdown if someone goes to far. I like it, it shows intelligence. They lay on his bed and hold eachother. He tries his best to remember the touch of her skin, the way she feels in his arms, the smell of some fancy shampoo she puts in her hair. He treasures every second of it. He knows it will be far too long before he has the chance to hold her again. But there just isn’t enough time. She has to leave. She says goodbye to his family and he escorts her out to her car. The 20 feet between the door to her car are some of the most misrible steps he will ever take. They stand by her car and hold eachother. He doesn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry.” is the only sentence he could muster. It doesn’t even begin to describe what he is feeling. They kiss, he tries to make time stop in his head. She bows her head down slightly. He can’t tell if she’s crying but he thinks she is. If she was she dried it up before she lifted her head again. She says she has to go and off she goes. He goes back inside, says goodnight to his brother and mother and goes to his room. He lays down on his own bed one last time and just lays there. He looks at the clock. He has to be at the airport in 4 & 1/2 hours. He lays there in the darkness until he has to leave. He doesn’t know if he slept or not. If he did it was only for brief periods, probably less than 5 minutes at a time. He has too much on his mind to fall into a deep sleep. He turns off his alarm 2 minutes before it is scheduled to go off. Then he gets ready, grabs his bags and says goodbye to home.