April 25, 2009

Here's Whats Goin' on Now!!

Well, boot camp is now over, and after taking a break for ten days, I was given the opportunity to help my recruiter (while staying home!) for an additional seven days. A lot of the time was spent not doing to much, and outside of that we would visit "hot spots" for new potential Marines. It was great being home for an extra week, and it would have been better if I was able to do more for my recruiters.

Now that my leave and Recruiters Assistance is over I am back in California at Camp Pendleton for MCT or Marine Combat Training, (not Mortal Combat Training as some people have confused it). Since being here for only four days we have learned how to use a Field Radio, thrown live hand grenades, hiked for 5K, ran for 5 miles, performed several tactical carries (carrying a wounded comrade in a combat environment), and refreshed ourselves on field first aid...and we're barely getting started!

The days are long and make for sore bodies, but all in all its not bad. We are treated with a lot more respect, and are able to see more and more what military life is really going to be like. We are able to get liberty or free time on the weekends where we can do basically anything we want. I'm in 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company which seems a little different after being in Hotel Company for the past three months, but I assume it will change every time I get a new duty station, I'm not sure though.

When I arrived off the bus on base, we were dropped off in the middle of two squad bays so I didn't really have a chance to see my surroundings. When I first stepped out and saw the scenery my jaw dropped! The scenery on this portion of the base is amazing. There are rolling hills all around us. Covered in green grass, bushes, and trees it looks amazing. Coming from Michigan (which is flat and bland) to this place makes it hard to not stare and think, 'Wow!" I plan on taking some pictures of the area tomorrow and hopefully will post them next week.

After seeing this beautiful terrain and listening to our instructors talk about how amazing the human body is during our first aid classes, you can't help but think how awesome our God is. Such beauty and magnificence in the hills and mountains and the complexity of the human body should point us all to Him. One of our instructors commented that the bodies healing capabilities was, "pretty awesome." I thought to myself, "He's (God) pretty awesome!" I challenge you all to read Isaiah chapter 40 and see for yourself how big and great our God is!

Marine Combat Training is only 29 days long, and I have a graduation date of May 19. If you happen to be near Camp Pendleton on that date, consider this your personal Invitation! After graduation I will be attending my MOS school (Military Occupational Speciality) in 29 Palms, Ca. I'm not exactly sure how long school will be, but from what I hear it is L-O-N-G!

Feel free to email me joecusmc@gmail.com and I will be glad to respond on the weekends when we have liberty. It's a lot easier then snail mail! As always remain, Semper Fidelis!

April 14, 2009

Pictures!


It took awhile to organize everything, but here are some pictures of some of the highlights of recruit training including the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Ceremony, the Moto Run, and Family Day. The picture above is after graduation in our hotel room. I hope to post more pictures of Graduation and our trip to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo at a later time. Enjoy My Pictures!

April 7, 2009

Platoon 2170 - Picture and Video

Platoon 2170 was my home for the last three months (I'm in the first row in the middle). It is amazing how you can take 70+ individual men and form them all to work as one team. One of the main things that was emphasized while in training was that one persons actions affect the whole platoon. Something as simple as one man chewing while walking could land the whole platoon face down in the dirt doing push ups, among other things as well. Time and time again we as a platoon were disciplined and corrected for one persons doing. Sometimes it was my fault! We all had to learn one way or another to work together as a team.

It was often frustrating bearing the punishment for someone else's mistakes, especially if it was the same person over and over.....and OVER AND OVER AGAIN (you know who you are!). Even then, the lesson must be learned. When I am tired, I cannot quit for there are those who may fail, fall, or at the worst, die as a result. When I want to quit and go rest, I cannot because the success or failure of someone else is resting on my burdened shoulders. This lesson must be learned now and it must be learned well. You see, the stresses and burdens of boot camp are nothing compared to the stresses and burdens of war. As an individual we will most certainly fail; as a team we can accomplish anything.

Platoon 2170 learned this and many many other lessons. We went through a lot together and came out on the other end physically, mentally, and spiritually stronger. I wish all of you well and pray for your safety as you continue in training.

As Christians we must realize too, that we are but one member in the body of Christ, the church. We must all work together to do our part in what Christ has commissioned. When tired do we go soul winning, when rushed do we witness, when broke do we tithe? Though it may not be as apparent as it was in boot camp, our individual actions affect the whole body of our local church. And not only the body of believers, but also the countless souls of the unsaved who more then they know, need Christ! There were several times throughout boot camp when I thought to myself, "I don't want to do this", yet I literally had no choice in the matter. If we as Christians would only treat our church attendance, soul winning, and tithing as such. In all honesty we don't always want to go soul winning, or go to church, or help in some particular ministry; yet in our hearts we should say, "I have no choice", for we have been bought, redeemed, and sanctified by His precious Blood.

Fellow Marines and fellow Christians in all we do remember that there are those who are depending on us both physically and spiritually. If we fail we must realize the chances of their success are diminished. Therefore we must succeed in every mission given by our King of kings. To all reading...Stay Semper Fidelis!
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