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How to Date a Marine for Dummies
There is no book written entitled “How To Date A Marine For Dummies”. However there should be. The life of the Marines and how their spouses or spouses to be live is something that cannot be predicted. Nor can the people entering these lives expect what they are going to face or what is going to happen. The only thing that can be planned out is the three steps of being a Marine once a contract has been signed. Boot camp, then training (in this case, infantry-the frontline ), and then waiting for deployment. These are the only things that can be planned. The part that cannot be planned and the one that everyone truly hates is once they are on a tour, if they are going to come back from that tour.
Boot camp is typically thirteen weeks long. They are not allowed to bring anything with them expect some money in a money clip. No pictures or anything of that matter. While in boot camp the only form of communication is letters. So learning to write is a key. I thankfully know how to do this. This is the time to learn how to be without the person you care about.
My name is Alexandra and my boyfriend is Anthony. He will be a Marine. We met at a Saint Patrick’s Day party this year. I was the elected ”mama” for the group. Everyone said I took care of them so well. My friend who was intoxicated for the past three days called me and asked, “Do you look pretty? Well you always do, but I mean prettier than normal? I found a boy, well I really didn’t find him, but I want you to meet him, ok? Ok great good?” I had to look pretty and I must of because at this festival to thank the Irish for such fun activity to take part in because at the end of the night he asked me out on a date, and I had accepted.
The date came and everything went wrong but went right in every other way. His truck battery died, his grandmother had to come get me, he was an hour late, and we could not go out for dinner. We got snowed into his home and I was not able to leave. I am a city girl. He is a redneck. And there were animal head staring at me from almost every wall in his home. I now understand how it feels to be an animal in a zoo. It is not very fun. Soon enough the power had gone out and the snow was so deep we could not leave the house. I was being forced to stay there on the first date. However, I am glad I did. That night we stayed up late watching The Producers. Later on that night as we awkwardly shared the same bed, he asked me to be his girlfriend, I gladly accepted. I never knew what it had felt like to be swept off your feet. At that time of him asking I had forgotten that he had signed a contract to go into active duty of the Marines.
In this particular case, infantry training. Infantry is the frontline of fighting. Surprisingly, they have a higher life expectancy then the Marine truck drivers do. This particular type of training last about 60 days unless the Marine in training fails a part and must pass that part in order to move on. In training they are allowed to have minimal photos and communication is through letters. Before they leave for this training, the Marine in training is only home for ten days before they are sent out for training.
This next step I am dreading. This means I am one step closer to saying good-bye to the man I really care about more than anything in this world. God gave him to me and I do not want him to go away. I cannot change that fact though. This step is shorter than boot camp, which excites me. However I never want to have to say good-bye. Good-bye involves a lot of tears. I particularly do not enjoy crying.
Deployment is getting shipped off somewhere it can be in this country or another. They will be gone for a tour at a time, which is about six months. Communication involves letters; video calls, and sometimes phones calls. This is the scariest time of all because you do not know if they will return from this tour. However a perk to the Marine being on tour is that you can live on base and receive benefits from the government like a home, pay, and ways to obtain clothing, groceries, and health care a lot cheaper. However, this is only possible for if you are married to a Marine, not just in a relationship with one. Along with your Marine being on tour, they may want to move your relationship along much quicker than you think. They may want to get married and then have a baby. They want to know that someone is waiting at home who loves them. If you love them then this isn’t a problem right?
This would be the hardest step with being a Marine. They are gone and you have to sit at home playing the waiting game. The meanest and cruelest game that God has created. We sit and wait to see if the love one that we have sent over seas comes back to us not being in a bed with the biggest symbol of freedom we have as a blanket. While your Marine is deployed you may be on a base, or in a permanent home. The options are endless.
Some closing words.
I have not been with Anthony for a long period of time but I do love him. More then I ever thought that I would. He knows how to make me smile, and what makes me laugh. He always knows how to tell when something is not just right with me and knows exactly how to make me spill what that is. He is my best friend next to being my boyfriend. We always have fun together and together we are complete idiots. People say that we are a special kind of stupid together and I really do enjoy that.
I have been dealing with the fact that Anthony will be leaving for boot camp in July. He will be back in September and then gone again ten days later. After that we will play the waiting game and we will see what happens. With this dealing process I have also had to consider the choice of leaving him or stay with him. After a lot of thinking I have decided to stay with him because I love him.
My relationship will be tested in everyway that you can think of. This however is something I will never know if I am ready for or ever will be ready for. I will be the one waiting for him when he comes home. Because he needs someone here for him and I want to be that person. I know our relationship will be on drugs and go faster than I expect but I think I am ready for it. I do not know what will happen next. Engagement? Marriage? All I know is that I love him and that he loves me more than his country. But it is his duty to his country and me to keep both of us safe. And that is what he will do.