This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will... My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit... My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!
DO OR DIE
By far, the most aesthetically beautiful ceremony I am called to perform in my duties as a Marine is the funeral procession. It’s so beautiful, somber, and choreographed flawlessly. I’ve cried at these funerals, even though I didn’t personally know the man being mourned. Today, on this appropriately rainy day, I have to do another one. Another local Marine, a brother in arms, being buried. As beautiful as it all is, I hate funeral detail.