Sunday, March 8, 2009

duty & responsibility

It goes something like this. The younger kids I know, they think it's cool. The my-aged ones, they call it crazy. The older ones, the married/parent-type, they call it commendable. Being in the Marines, I mean. But me, I call it "sacrifice". That's the one word I can think of when asked to describe my experience, or how I feel about being in it. And the guys who I serve with, who are in the Marines with me, they call it miserable. But I think I'll stick with "sacrifice".

Sure, there are times when it IS cool, like the kids think it is, and there are times when it is miserable beyond mention. There are honorable things about it, and there are shameful things about it. Some people love it and some people hate it. And if you asked me how I felt about it, I couldn't really tell you, except to say that it's just a sacrifice.

I've given up 2 entire summer vacations so far for the Marines, where I could have been working or interning somewhere and making fond memories with friends and happiness and sunshine. There are countless weekends where I should have been partying or studying (like right now, except I need to take advantage of this moment of inspiration) instead of being in uniform. There are so many opportunities and relationships and other things I could have had instead. Instead of being cool or crazy or commendable or miserable.

And especially during this coming Iraq deployment, I'll be missing a most essential year in my life at home. During a time when I just began forming close friendships and strong professional relationships at school, I'll be doing something "cool" in the Middle East. During a time when so many exciting things are happening at home that I want to be a part of, I'll be doing something "crazy" in The Sandbox instead. And during a time when our congregation is losing so many people, when I should be doing the best I can to help, instead I'll be doing something "commendable" in the desert.

I won't be leading worship at church, won't be with my YG boys or camping with bros or going on cruises and I won't be studying Scripture with my Muslim and Hindu and Jewish and Buddhist friends at school and won't be going on missions trips or trying to get into the FBI.

If you asked me if I'm glad I'm in the Marines, or if I regret it, I wouldn't know what to tell you. If you asked if I believed in the war, I would say no, there are few people who do any more. Then why am I going? Why am I in the Marines and going to Iraq? I don't's my sacrifice, man.

1 comment:

  1. may God bless your trip to Iraq and times in Marines!

    Judy & James Tuan