For some, we are at constant conflict with what we believe is best for us and what society preaches as the correct path for a young man or woman. For others we aren’t quite sure what we want. A path that seems so clear in one instance, seems completely obscure in another and sometimes we try to rush these decisions. There is no one universal path for all. As young people, we are so sure of everything at times, we seek our independence at every opportunity and cringe at the thought that we will ever need help or kiss ass to get anywhere. We don’t understand the world in full, nor ourselves.
I myself am guilty of possessing these faults, we all are. I was fortunate enough to be approached with an opportunity to address my shortcomings, my faults; and in doing so find out more about myself, my character, my strong points, my dreams, and my fears. My hardheaded teenage mind showed its natural stubbornness at first, projecting its resistance to any aid. If one wishes to prepare themselves in full for the journey ahead, this trait must be the first to go.
The journey to earn the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor will be no easy one, the technical aspect, terminology, and processes confusing in their own right will be matched by our own fears and doubts. I was lucky enough to be approached by the author of this site whom ill reference as the “The Wise one”. The wise one offered his assistance as he had done with many other prospects in my shoes. With no ego or prejudice, his living, breathing successes pay testimonial to his abilities. Like a judge, he observes and then passes his wise arbitrations, possessing a capacity for insight that is impeccably rare. His level of understanding and compassion becoming of a “priest-like figure”. Upon our initial conversations, I found myself at odds with him, at times not wishing to accept what I had heard. However, upon quiet reflection I found that I had never heard truer words about myself, my future, and life itself.
I have tried to abstain from speaking too in depth about the Marine Corps. I am just like most of you that will read this, having not yet been through the experience myself (this site will provide you with the answers to any Marine related question you can think of) I once saw myself as the “ lone cowboy” type: stubborn and bitter, never accepting help, I thought I could traverse life and its obstacles on my own, and this mentality has led me to many problems. But we are who we are, and we must accept our good traits with our bad. That may be the most important lesson I have learned, the Marines will not change that, it will give us things such as discipline and pride, but it will never alter who we truly are, and the foundations of our character will not be affected for better or worse.
This “cowboy’s" journey is an exciting yet nerve-racking one for him. The future is a place where his headstrong mind clashes with his fears and frustrations, but with his new found knowledge and insight, he is better prepared than he ever could of have been without the help of his new teacher.
As this Cowboy prepares to saddle up and ride into the horizon, he fears not the uncertainty that the future may bring, for he has learned from the best. He has gained not only a mentor, but a friend as well.