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Just a plug for the young uns out there and a wakeup call for those that dismiss the younger generation.

19, First Sergeant

April 24th, 2007 by CJ

This is from a Marine First Sergeant serving in Iraq and about to come home:

I guess I kinda had an epiphany two days ago when I walked outside and saw some Marines gathered around a convoy of 4 vehicles. I recognized that these were my Marines from another "Battle Position" so I thought I would go see what they were up to. Because of the fact that they are 40 miles away, I dont get to see them often enough, so I always welcome "face time" with this platoon.

As I walk over, all I see are young Marines and a single Corporal. "Who is the convoy commander?" I asked, expecting to see a Senior Sergeant or Staff Sergeant appear from nowhere. "I am, First Sergeant", said Cpl Jansen. All of the Marines started to close in on me as if to see what they had done wrong that caused me to be looking for the convoy commander. So I asked Cpl Jansen how old he was and he replied "19, First Sergeant".

This just really hit home with me, so I decided to point out to all of them the significance. "Wow, 19 years old and you take 17 Marines and head out accross hostile foreign land. I bet that if you asked someone back home who was in charge of a convoy in Iraq, they would think it was a Lieutenant or Captain or Sgt. But here you are….a 19 year old Corporal leading Marines into combat." (Keep in mind that 45 days ago Cpl Jansen was a Lance Corporal-before he was promoted to his present rank Meritoriously for his actions in combat.)

So, as I walked away, I just kept thinking what other kids his age are doing in America. The level of responsibility he has is truly Awe-inspiring. Thirty minutes later, Cpl Jansen mounted up his troops and headed right back out the gate and into harms way on his 90 minute convoy back to his base. What a difference eight months makes! This is just one example of how this deployment has changed lives and turned boys into men.

You know, a lot of people look down on our current generation. People are quick to point out that they play too much video games, question authority, talk back to their parents, whatever.(I myself am guilty of saying these things). But I can assure you, that if you could see what I have seen here, you would stiffle yourself. They represent everything America stands for and they are perfect ambassadors of our country. My company is about 75% under 21 years old. These young men have a perfect understanding of patriotism and sacrifice.


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I found your story to be very uplifting. I have to take issue with you though on one thing. The reason that young man wasn't like his generation is because of the military. What his peers are missing from parents and other authority figures is exactly what the military gave him!! People may bad mouth the military but you cannot argue that men and women who come out have pride, honor, duty and respect and are quality citizens and people for it!!

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One day you're sitting there, talking about things, and start talking about kids these days. Lazy, don't know a good thing, ect.. The all of a sudden, you realize you sound like your dad. :paranoid:


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