I never knew my husband as a civilian. I have no idea what kind of person he was before bootcamp or who he might have been had he never joined the Marine Corps. What I do know is the kind of man my husband is now.
I cannot tell you what his MOS is. I can’t tell you what schools he’s been to, what his rank is, or even where he are specifically stationed. What I can tell you, is each month, my husband spends more hours doing the duties set forth to him, on his own time, then he spends with his wife. I can tell you that rarely does a week go by that we do not get some midnight phone call waking us up because one of his Marines need him, whether for personal or Marine Corps related reasons.
I can tell you that he doesn’t let geography stand in the way of his duty to his men, of his loyalty to their safety and well being, nor does he let his title of being a reservist stand in the way of doing what is right by them, even off the clock.
Each month my husband wakes up early, stays up late, and arrives at drill days before his men. He allows scores of his own to lower, so that he may run an unofficial PFT with a Marine who needs encouragement, even when it means being too exhausted to better his own times. And he cares more about the quality of the Marines he is helping strengthen and the ability of them to do their job well then he does how good he looks on paper himself.
Not a year passes that we do not get word of letters of recommendation for promotion or talks with superiors about reenlistment. He spent years non-ob, choosing to attend drill and spend his life in the Corps, rather than being forced to. And he reenlisted simply because he wanted to and his superiors pray that he never leaves.
When the time came to deploy, he chose to go with his men, while being non-ob. His fear being that they were his responsibility and how could he let them down by staying home. He needed to keep them safe, he needed to remain loyal, so much so that our marriage suffered upon his return. Our marriage suffered because he continued to choose his men over me, even when stateside. He worried about their wellbeing and reintegration back to life at home. He felt compelled to ensure their successful return to life at here.
What makes him a good Marine, is what makes him hard to be married to. Because I have no doubt in my mind that he will take a bullet for each of his men, he will jump on a live grenade to keep them safe, he will readily die to ensure that others make it home safely. And I live in constant fear of the day he gets that chance.