Last night I was sifting through my Facebook feed, not really looking for anything, just killing time. Amazingly, I found three Marines I'd served with over ten years ago.
I friend-requested them, not really knowing what kind of response I would get.
The first response was from a Marine that always seemed to have his hand in some kind of mischief. He reminded me that the first time I was OOD I had to go to the hospital to pick him up after he got a couple teeth knocked out at a club off-base. I laughed just thinking about it. He's a good Marine that I remembered as someone who always pulled strings to take care of our company. He also helped to show a lowly lieutenant the ins and outs of how the battalion chain worked.
The second reply was from a Marine who, as a SSgt, I always thought was crusty beyond his age. One of those grunts that just got it. He knew how to take care of Marines AND accomplish the mission. Turns out he's still in the Corps and doing great. I laughed when he first replied to my friend request with, "You're a warrior not an author!" It felt like we fell into the old routine. I can't wait until I can fulfill my promise to buy him a beer. Between you and me, I'll be buying drinks the whole night.
The last Marine to write me back was one of those 'Poster Boy' Marines that we all hear about before hitting the Fleet. He's probably about six feet tall, smart, good looking, and a physically fit as they come. I remember checking in to my battalion and thanking my lucky stars that he'd be one of MY Marines. As seems to happen in the Corps, he left my platoon too soon. We had a great conversation as well. Turns out he did a much better job at keeping in touch with some of the old guys than I did. I also realized that there was some of my main character, Cal Stokes, in the Marine. It brought a grin to my face.
As I put my iPhone down and got ready for bed, I replayed the conversations in my head. They took me back to the days when it was all about the Marines around me. Part of me really misses those days. Thankfully, we now have technology that allows us to reach out to old comrades and reconnect.
It also made me realize how much of THEM is in my books. I say it often: I WRITE FOR THEM.
I'd never realized how much I'd missed my Marines.
C. G. Cooper is author of the Corps Justice Novels