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June 20, 2004

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Eddie Black

First off I'd like to open up by saying "Semper Fi". Sgt Black, USMC, 1989 - 1994.

Your point about the weekend warrior is partly true. When I left active duty I gave the reserves a try for a few months and was utterly disappointed in the "weekend" mentality of those in the unit.

Some 8 years later with the awareness of what is going on in the world I tried three times to join the local Marine Reserves. Paperwork kept the ball from moving well, and I didn't want to be an engineer. So I opted to join the local Oregon National Guard unit, an infantry unit.

I joined the unit and found that there were lots of former Marines in the unit. Marines tend to take their oath as sacred, to "always be faithful" to God, country, Corps, family, self. So it is no surprise to meet some former Marines. During our recent weekend training we focused on urban tactics. As I led a team into a building with enemy snipers (training), we snapped to.

The "weekend warriors" may not be currently in as good of shape as active duty personnel. Yet I admire the drive of those soldiers around me. They know exactly what they are putting on hold for a year and a half... they have other jobs and lives and yet they willingly put thes aside to go stand in harms way. They know what is being asked of them and they stand to. This is an element that might not be as prominent in active duty personnel.

As a Marine I've given more rations of Sh*t to Air Force "airdales" and Navy "squids" and Army "dogs" during my time as a marine. Yet whatever branch, whatever term, whatever job... we are all standing to for the defense of our country.

Semper Fi

Eddie Black
Eugene, Oregon

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