usmc quote

“I love you” isn’t what you think it looks like. It’s not romantic dates and holding hands.
“I love you” is taking care of someone when they’re blackout drunk and throwing up
“I love you” is popping back pimples and still kissing through the runny noses winter brings
“I love you” is drooling during sex and laughing together
“I love you” is being held while violently sobbing because of an anxiety attack
“I love you” is discussing what your morning breath smells like with each other
“I love you” is “I don’t want to but I will for you and only you.”
It’s all the good and the bad and the gross and the beautiful and ugly things about life and embracing that in each other.

Operation Jackstay is over. I guess now I’m a veteran. Nothing they could have done would have prepared us for this. We now know the training in Hawaii and the Philippines was a piece of cake. God doesn’t know about the Mekong Delta, He didn’t create that hellhole. I think when He rested, the devil slipped one in on him. They told us before we went in that we were the first American unit to operate that far south in the war. I think everyone else had more brains. Maybe when I’m out of the Marines I’ll be proud of this, I’m just too tired to feel anything.
          We lost some good guys. How do you explain this in a letter? One minute they were there, then dead. I have no idea why I’m still here.

Cpl. Jon Johnson in a letter home to his parents and wife, dated 8 April 1966. Johnson served in Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. 

Source: Letters from Vietnam edited by Bill Adler

You don’t know but I’m the girl that drags herself out of bed every morning so that he will be proud of her when he comes home. I’m the girl who lies in bed longing for him to be lying next to me. I’m the girl who sits quietly in class because all I can think about is the next moment that he’ll be in my arms again. You don’t know, but I’m the girl with a million things to say, but none will come out without the thought of him. I’m the girl who checks my phone every five seconds just to make sure I haven’t missed his call. You tell me you know how I feel and that you understand what I’m going through; you have no idea. What you don’t realize is that I understand the true meaning of not only love, but of longing and anticipation. I am one of the girls who will make friends with complete strangers for only they can even begin to understand what I am going through. You don’t understand that I picture his face everywhere I go and that he is with me in everything I do. You tell me that you support the troops; I tell you, I’m in love with one.
—  Probably every military girlfriend/wife. 
I am sorry I have hurt you. But if I thought I was needed at home more than here, I would come home. Things are going well at home. So where do I belong? This is an unusual time in our nation’s history. The unrest around the world is paralleled only a handful of times in history. Young men are asking questions–hard questions. Much of the focus of the entire world is on Vietnam, The incompetency and the wrongs committed in Vietnam are staggering. But through it all I see a little light. Some men choose to fight on the streets. Some choose to fight in the universities. Some choose to fight in the parliaments. My choice is between two options–fight in Vietnam or shut up. I choose Vietnam. If I am to contribute, it must be Vietnam. And when I get home, you too will see that little light.
—  Rodney R. Chastant, in a letter home to his mother. He served as a captain with Marine Air Group 13, 1st Marine Air Wing. He was KIA 22OCT1968 at age 25.
‘Boy, you sure get offered some shitty choices,’ a Marine once said to me, and I couldn’t help but feel that what he really meant was that you didn’t get offered any at all. Specifically, he was just talking about a couple of C-ration cans, 'dinner,’ but considering his young life you couldn’t blame him for thinking that if he knew one thing for sure, it was that there was no one anywhere who cared less about what he wanted. There wasn’t anybody he wanted to thank for his food, but he was grateful that he was still alive to eat it, that the mother-fucker hadn’t scared him up first. He hadn’t been anything but tired and scared for six months and he’d lost a lot, mostly people, and seen far too much, but he was breathing in and breathing out, some kind of choice all by itself.
—  Michael Herr in his book Dispatches

Our enemies exist, and daily strive with dogged determination to destroy us. Will you accept this cruel twist of fate? Or will you find the Iron quality of your manhood, smile at death, and train like tomorrow will never come?

In the end what will be said of us? That we were victors, cowards, or brave men? That is for each of us to decide. Stand up and be counted, stand with me and fight for a better tomorrow.