Join The Marine Corps?

Yea, why not? This life is not for practice. When it’s all over, what would you have regretted missing out on?

For some it’s a long life. As of right now for me, it’s not joining the military when I was younger. I almost did when I was 17, took the ASVAB and everything.

I was signing up in the buddy program with a good friend and getting excited to go. I thought it would be fun and give me some great experiences to start my life with.

I was living with my uncle and aunt for my senior year. I met my mom at a diner for lunch and explained to her my plans of joining the Marine Corps. She was against it, she was scared for me. I reassured her and told her I was sure it would be a good thing.

And then a month or so later, my mom died. That was the last time I saw her. It was a difficult and confusing time and I made the choice to not go in the military after all.

Almost each year since then, I’ve talked with a recruiter, family and friends about my day dream of serving. I intently watch everything military on TV. I say “thank you” to every service member I see in public. I kept up with my buddy who did join, he received a purple heart due to a grenade going off near him. He’s fine though. In his words “Thank God our enemy used cheap Egyptian grenades!”

Alas, it just doesn’t feel like this feeling will go away. But now I’m 28. I’ve got a business, clients, girlfriend of 2 years, a house, a pet and a dozen more reasons not to go.

A few months ago I saw a marine recruiter and inquired if I was too old. He said yes and I felt disappointed for some reason. So I called the office a week later and inquired again asking if there was a way around this age restriction.

Turns out, there is. As long as I start bootcamp before my 29th birthday, I can join. There’s a line to get into the Marine Corps, but reservists go to bootcamp quicker.

Good thing too, because after all this thinking, wishing and wondering- I’ve finally decided. Yes, I’d like to join the marine reserves.

It’ll be tough and inconvenient in a lot of ways. But in the end, it feels right and I won’t regret having the choice to contribute to the freedoms I’ve enjoyed thus far.

I think I’ll appreciate the challenges, experiences, adventures and pride.