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WOULD CHESTY PULLER THROW HIS BOOTS ON THE WIRE?

 

 
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(This article appeared in the Novmeber 19, 1999 issue of the Observation Post, the base newspaper for Twentynine Palms, California.)


1stLt Jason D. Grose
1st Tank Bn Adjutant

Driving home the other day, I saw a sight that started me thinking. Suspending on a wire, there were a set of boots dangling in the dry air of Twentynine Palms right across from some enlisted barracks. Many thoughts went through my head and I want to share some of them with you.

What did it mean? In my years in the Marine Corps, I have seen it and I always thought it was a symbol of some Marine that had a rough go of it in the Corps and, as the last act of defiance, decided to show the Marine Corps what he thought of the whole setup. I have also heard that it is a celebration and a final dedication of years served in the most rigorous of lifestyles. Be that as it may, I took another view of this scene. I really do not think it is fair for the BOOTS!!

I have a pair of boots that I love, as much as a grown man can love footwear. But it is more than that. I was given these boots (right upside the head, as I recall) on July 28th, 1987 at MCRD San Diego. These boots saw the Hell of bootcamp and the endless days of NCO School. They reported for duty in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They marched through the NROTC program at the University of Washington and stumbled through the confusion of Officerís Candidate School.

When I was commissioned on 1997, I took a moment with these wondrous leather chariots and promised, once again, that I would retire them if they got me through one more test. So with boots on feet, I reported to The Basic School for six more months of boot-crushing training. It seemed that I always made that promise to the boots and every time, I broke my promise. But true and faithful, my boots were always waiting there, up for the challenges we would face together.

Through countless rifle ranges, humps, NBC trails, Volklauf races, boots and utility runs, obstacle courses, my boots were always present. From my first promotion to Lance Corporal to my latest to 1st Lieutenant, these particular boots have adorned my feet as they will be for every subsequent promotion and my eventual retirement.

Would I ever throw these veteranís up on a wire to dangle until some civilian has to be summoned to cut them down and then get thrown in a dumster? I would sooner spit on the grave of Chesty Puller.

So if you are thinking of throwing your boots up, think twice and attempt to appreciate the boots that have been through all the highs and lows you, too, have experienced.

If you foolishly decide to ignore my advice on this matter and I witness this disrespect, you had better be more fleet of foot that I am because I will be wearing my boots. After all they have been through, I would not be responsible for their reaction.


Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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