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Dear Lt. Grose,

I am 16 years old and am currently in Army ROTC in San Diego, California.

I want to join the Marine Corps reserves after H.S. The reason why I want to
go with the Reserves is because I'd like to pursue a career in filmmaking....and the only way I can have time do that is to be in the

Now, here is a question: What do you think of the occupation, Combat
Photographer? Sure, it's a little crazy, but I figure: if I'm in the reserves, they're gonna send me off to war as soon as it starts ANYWAY, so what's the point of not being a combat photographer? But anyway, back to the question: what do you, current Marine, think of this choice to be one?

Also, I'd like to say that I love your webpage, it is brilliant and has given
me hours of entertainment. Keep up the outstanding work, and I may be a little late in the game (I only found your webpage recently), but congratulations on becoming an officer....::::salutes:::::

Finally, I also want to say that my father was a Marine, 1962-1968 (wasn't in
Vietnam, however), and went through bootcamp on Parris Island......seeing FULL
METAL JACKET brought him back (which, BTW, should have been just a boot camp
movie, because the Vietnam half can't compare with the Boot Camp half). Also,
the reason why I'd like to be a Marine is because I love the "character" of
the Corps, the uniforms (they have the best), and the whole attitude in
general. It also helps that my dad served proudly ;).......(however, I don't
want to join because of him...the reason I want to join is really my own
personal willingness, which comes deep from my heart).

Well, it's been great writing you, and before I go I just have to say again,
keep up the great work, and I loved all of your stories.....thanks for your
time sir.


First, I obviously think that going into the Marine Corps for any young man is a good idea. In today's world, I understand that youth in America cannot understand the ethos of the Marine Corps and join it just for the reputation and benefits. But you will stay for the love of the Corps which you cannot yet possess.

To answer your question about the combat photographer, I think it is a great idea. I do not know if they can guarantee you a slot but regardless of your job, I think it can only help your ambition to become a film maker. You see, the Marine Corps will give you a different perspective on life that will be eternal. You will see life a whole lot differently than you do now and your maturity and discipline will grow exponentially. I do not usually point out the "what is in it for me" aspects of being a Marine but if you want a life-changing experience (something that might give a film maker an edge) I would encourage you to pursue becoming a Marine.

I also have another agenda for this encouragement. You see, the Marine Corps has survived so long not because the nation absolutely needs us but because America wants us. We are the keepers of what is right with America and work hard to maintain that. We do not create mindless killing machines but rather strive to create moral, righteous, intelligent leaders that represent what our founding fathers envisioned as the ideal American. Do we always live up to that mark? No, not always and having such high goals makes us a target to those that would like to see us fall on our swords. But that is the vast minority in our ranks that unfortunately get a disproportionate share of the press.

This is where someone like you can come in. You can help give the other side of the story. Someone like you could become a Marine and come to love the Corps and what it stands for; what your father knows to be true. Ask him and he will verify what I have said. As the teller of our story, you could use your skills with the media not to manipulate or distort, but just to help educate the rest of our society of the incredible entity that is the Marine Corps. Our facts are better than any fiction anyone could come up with.

To sum up, join the Marine Corps to become a Marine. Second, apply your skills and talents to uphold the proud title of a Marine whether it is scrubbing toilets, fighting the enemy, or somewhere in between.  We need warriors first and foremost but your talents as a film maker, photographer, etc., might help continue what me, your father, and millions before us have sacrificed to maintain: Excellence and honor.

Semper Fi and God Bless.

-- Lt Grose

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