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Letters From Boot Camp

Letters From Marine Corps Recruit Training

I joined the Marines in early 2004, just as the Iraq War was becoming a raging insurgency. These are the letters I sent home from boot camp. I didn't know it at the time, but joining the infantry when I did, you stood about a 100% chance of getting shot at. That's what we thought we wanted. To go to war. Whatever it took. 

So, nine days before my 22nd birthday, I shipped to Marine Corps Recruit Training. The Battle of Fallujah broke out. 

I sent home a series of nineteen letters to my parents. Inside you'll see the mindset or a Marine recruit come on, and the ruthless meritocracy of the Corps take over. Fatbodies, maggots, and bed-wetters. There was a guy who worked for Industrial Light and Magic, who owned a Ferrari. On the other side of the platoon, a reformed LA Crips gang member. 

Anyone who wanted to pick up a gun and fight was given a waiver and put through the meat grinder. 

You'll see my conviction about becoming a grunt fade. I really started doubting myself. It wasn't until the School of Infantry where I developed the camaraderie and friendship of true warriors. Anyway. Enjoy.

Letter One

Letter Two

Letter Three

Letter Four

Letter Five

Letter Six

Letter Seven

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