Why So Few and Why So Proud
Over 40 teachers spent five days together waking up before 0500, scarfing down breakfast, and in formation by 0600. There was a “morning brief” to inform the teachers, coaches, counselors and principals of the day’s activities; then the teachers would load the buses to go on that day’s venture. They thought they had it pretty rough; it was a (mildly) simulated ‘day in the life of a marine’ -- being ordered to do outrageous tasks while not speaking, acting goofy or sometimes even looking at the Drill Instructor.

The Educators Workshop was educational and moving for all the teachers in attendance. Everyone agreed that prejudgments and ideas of what the Marine Corps was like, might it have been good or bad, were replaced with respect, admiration and a whole new understanding of what our Marines are made of.  After spending a week surrounded by this elite group of people and their creators, the reverence and appreciation for America’s front-line combatants was at its highest.

The idea that the Marines are brainwashed is a common misconception…or is it? Young men are stripped from all individuality, cut off from the outside world and put through the most intense and excruciating training known. One might ask if this is necessary. Why must they go through such excruciating training? The answer is very apparent to the attendees of the Educators Workshop 2013 – to be the best. When nobody else will go, the Marines will. When the job is too difficult or dangerous the Marines don’t back down. When all other channels have been asked and said no, the Marines say yes – and even before the no’s are vocalized. Is that brainwashed?  Or is it the decision these warriors made to be molded into the toughest becoming apparent to the rest of us? Fort Worth’s Marine guide Drill Instructor said, “The pride of becoming a Marine is only enhanced by the fulfillment of purpose that comes from serving as one” as one of the Few, the proud, the Marines.

Every Marine has endured countless test, reached their ultimate limit, pushed themselves further than they knew was possible to become what they are today -- the best. So much is sacrificed to earn that title that they have to be proud and a special kind of respect is anticipated, and every proclamation of gratitude from those fellow Americans who reach out is returned with appreciation. During our time at MCRD, Camp Pendleton and Miramar we were ushered around, given tours, had our questions answered and were catered to in the most respectful manner. Surely we got on someone’s nerves – coming into their world, looking, prying, and interrogating into things we have no idea about. Each Marine we came into contact with was nicer and more polite than the next.

By Amy Drake