The Littlest Marine

Being short was never a big concern for me because I had never considered it as a disadvantage.

I had always been husky and solidly built in my youth and able to handle any physical confrontations that arose.

That didn’t change when I entered the military. In fact, I flourished in that environment.

Prior to joining the Marines I had spent a short hitch in the Army and dazzled my drill sergeants with high scores on their boot camp physical fitness tests. I did the same in the Marines. However, Marine Corps training differed from the Army. It was more intense and disciplined.

Parris Island MCRD

I am living proof to this fact. I entered the Army at 142 lbs. and graduated recruit training at the same weight. I enlisted in the Marines later at the same 142 lbs. and finished boot camp at 152 lbs. All muscle, no fat. The term which comes to mind now though is “has been”. It seems my girth has undergone some horizontal expansion as I approach retirement age.

While in the Marines I encountered a few situations which required a brute strength solution. My best friend “Wild Will” was a fairly large and powerful individual. We worked out together often. After one grueling work out and 3 mile run we returned to the base gymnasium. Will had tagged me with the handle “Junior” since I was the shortest Marine in the unit. That moniker followed me for a long time.

After cooling down and resting a while, Will began to poke fun of my height, which he often did. Usually I ignored his good natured jabs, but that particular day I was in a cranky, cross mood and I shot back a witty reply about his mother. This was a serious breach of Marine Corps conduct. Chapter 3, Paragraph 6, subsection B in the unofficial Marine Guide states, clearly no Marine can ever insult another Marine's mother. It was on now!

Will challenged me to a wrestling match right then and there. I had seen him wrestle before and no doubt about it, he was good. But I also had done some wrestling on my high school wrestling team and had been deemed as no slouch. This was going to be a real David and Goliath matchup. Other patrons of the gym quickly assembled around to watch the spectacle and bets were made…mostly against me losing.

A toss of the coin decided I was to take bottom position. Someone hollered GO! and the match began. At first we seemed evenly matched but after a few minutes of struggle I had him pinned. See gals…size doesn’t always matter.

But I didn’t always win, especially if I had been drinking. I had a serious drinking problem in those days which I never admitted to. Fortunately, now I no longer have that problem. But during that time Will and I spent a lot of off hours in downtown bars getting a snoot full. I was easy to spot. I was the little guy at the end of the bar with a black eye.

These events took place in my early days as a Marine and I still had my boot camp physique. As years rolled by though, I began to add a few pounds. This was bad career wise as the Marine Corps frowns on obesity.

In fact, they despise it so much; to be promoted to staff NCO a front and side photograph must be submitted along with recommendations. Needless to say, my short, stocky body didn’t look like a picture poster Marine and I was passed over every time. It didn’t matter I had perfect proficiency and conduct marks and a first class physical fitness rating. It all boiled down to the photograph. Apparently the Brass wasn’t too impressed with the photos, but I thought the pictures were cute…well, at least my mom thought so.

So, after being denied promotion several times I decided it was time to seek other employment while still young enough to learn another field of endeavor.

Actually I wish I could have remained in the Marines…but it’s no big deal!

More by this Author

  • False Advertising Is A Crime
    4

    Advertising is usually defined as any information provided in order to promote the sale of a product or service through printed, visual or audible media. It also pertains to anything a seller tells you. Americans love...

  • The Great Depression, "Black Tuesday"
    5

    On October 29th, thereafter known as "Black Tuesday," after nearly a decade of prosperity, the United States was catapulted into economic ruin.

  • Whatever Happened to CB Radio?
    30

    CB's beccame popular during the 1970's. Partly because of the 1973 oil crisis and a nationwide 55 mph speed limit. CB’s were used to help truckers locate stations having fuel and avoiding speed traps


Comments 5 comments

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

You’ve got a vivid style of writing. Academically perfect. Truly enjoyable. Like watching a movie. I felt kind of sorry for that little guy at the end of the bar with a black eye. If I were the barman, I would have given him a snoot on the house, but if I were his mother, I would have given him a second black eye. Your writings (essays) look publishable to me, sir. Did you ever consider to publish them in book form?


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Wow, what praise!. You are not the first say I should write a book. I've thought about taking the best of my hubs and put them together in a book form with each hub being another chapter. But although I can write I was never on the publishing end and don't know much about it. I might check into that. Wanna buy my first autographed copy?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Go check Website Examiner 's latest hub. I will surely buy that copy!


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

They passed you over because of your apperance? That was a loss for them and you.


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina Author

Sure was...tsk, tsk.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working