How we doing hard-chargers,
I joined because I wanted to make a difference. I joined because I wanted to challenge myself, I joined because I needed an adjustment as far as my life’s perspective. (Infamous yellow footprints)
I’m thankful for everything the Marines have given me, my confidence has grown. As well as my ability to take charge and lead others. I also now think more rationally and remain calm in stressful situations.
Once I finished the crucible in Marine Corps boot camp, we as a platoon hiked back to our starting point. From there we got in formation and everyone got teary eyed. We gave our all and remained persistent in our efforts to graduate 13 weeks of intensity to say we’re U.S. Marines.
In the beginning I was curious if I could hang. As I knew there would be an immense amount of testosterone in one place. I often wondered if I’d get tossed by a drill instructor, who didn’t like the way I looked or the way I sounded when asked to scream.
As time went on I begin to understand that everything that you go through is for an exact reason.
From the way you carry your cup, for chow time, to the way you sit in Indian style when cleaning your rifle. It all makes sense when you have a moment to think and see things as they are. (at the end of course)
The jobs of the drill instructors (Kill Hats) are to break you down and build you back up,
I seen men, break down and cry, because they weren’t used to mental stress.
(i.e. someone in your face using a rather high volume to get a point across)
They dare you to act out in any way shape or form. Begging and pleading for you to lose the ability contain your emotions. They want you to lash out and get physical, most are praying for this moment, as they then have the right to defend themselves…
Myself and many others in platoon 2034 actually had a ton of respect for drill instructors. They lack sleep, food, and a social life, they made a sacrifice as we’ve done also.
They wont say it, but they’re very happy and feel accomplished when they push a class to their limit in order to graduate in 13 weeks. They are responsible for grooming us from recruits into marines, therefore they take this job very serious as they should.
During my time at Parris Island, there were instances where I would question my decision by asking myself “what the hell was I thinking”. Wondering if a better route was more suitable for me as the stress of this lifestyle was adding up both physically and mentally.
I counted the days by chow time, we’d rise at 04:00 am for breakfast, then 12:00 p.m. for lunch, and 17:00 p.m. for dinner. By 20:00 hours, we were in our racks. This was my way of getting by and going day to day, it actually did and does help.
I wanted to say I’m a part of the few and the proud. I wanted to say I did my part as far as this war goes. I wanted to get back at those who hurt our country, (9/11) I wanted to be a part of one the baddest military fraternities.
This is what pushed me to keep going, this is what pushed me to never give up. I wanted it and had tunnel vision on my goal of being a U.S. Marine.
So again, I joined because I wanted to make a difference, I joined because I wanted to challenge myself, I joined because I needed an adjustment as far as my life’s perspective.
I’m in the center of this picture, as the acting team leader. David Jewell is behind me with M-4 rifle in the air.
We were about to head out on our daily patrol in Sustani, Afghanistan 2011. Here we have 7 marines, 1 corpsman, 1 interpreter and 4 Afghanistan Army members.
Isaac J. Hall II