Country Living Series

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Okie Farm Kid Joins the Marines

Here's a good chuckle a reader sent.

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late… Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.

We go on "route marches," which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Sapulpa. I only beat him once... He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,


  1. Love this!!! Thanks for posting.

  2. Haha, thanks for the laugh Patrice! I guess it goes without saying, but a country woman will survive. LOL!

  3. Save the Canning JarsFebruary 26, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    This Okla. gal says Thanks for the chuckle!

  4. Thanks for the humor :) some days one needs a good laugh, this provided it.

  5. Loved it! Thanks for the giggle..

  6. I would make her the Queen of my Doublewide!

  7. OO-RA!!
    We need more Alice's in the Corp.

  8. Oh yeah. We Okie women are a differn't breed! Cute!!! :-)

  9. So funny. =) And so true in many ways. Thanks for sharing!

    City Roots, Country Life

  10. Thanks for posting this! As an Okie woman, it made my day.


  11. Thanks for posting.

    My son is in BCT right now at Ft. Jackson. I'm going to mail him a printout. He'll get a good chuckle out of it.

    Here's some reality that my son has written to us:

    Ft. Jackson trains 80% of the women who join the Army. Thus, the training is "dumbed down" considerably from what the men would normally get at the other training facilities. My son is extremely disappointed about how soft and easy his Basic experience is.

    There are 15 women in my son's unit. He tells us that 5 of them cannot do a single situp!

    One of the women is 4'9". Really! What on earth is she doing in this man's Army?!

    Other men we know who have gone through basic with women "soldiers" tell us they spent most of their time helping their female teammates through the obstacle courses, field exercises, etc., thus slowing them down considerably.

    Does that give anybody pause to think about what this holds for the future of the United States Army? And the future of the security of our nation?

    These barely competent women "soldiers," who got in under a much-lowered PT standard in the first place, are only going to get some of our guys killed some day trying to protect them on the battlefield ... maybe my own son.

    Before anybody tries to rebut me with anecdotes of exemplary female soldiers ... which I readily admit there are a few, very few ... I just want to say that any nation of men that sends its mothers, wives and daughters out to fight its wars for it has already lost. It's lost its manhood. It's lost its culture. It has already lost the war it went out to fight.

    By the way ... the feminization of our culture has its affect on men too. My son tells me he is shocked and amazed at the number of men in his unit who cry themselves to sleep every night ... AND THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST TWO WEEKS!

    My son has been through two "Basics" already ... Civil Air Patrol encampment when he was 16, and 9 weeks Basic with the International ALERT Academy, which he says was MUCH tougher than Army Basic. So, I guess his experience has helped him a lot in that regard.


    1. Some of the toughest soldiers belong to Israel. It's mandatory both men and women serve.

  12. This was funny. I wonder who the original writer is so they can be given credit.

  13. Good Lord.

    Dave, I can sure appreciate why you feel the way you do, and I share your concern.

    As I read your post I couldn't help thinking about two of my favorite women from the Bible, Deborah and Jael.

    But this isn't ancient Israel, is it?

    I was raised like the boy my Daddy never had, and could out shoot, out fish, out ride, and out hunt most of the boys. I made a point of it. And I had some girlfriends who made me look like a wuss. But we weren't city girls, and I think that had a lot to do with it.

    I've always been turned off by wussy individuals, but what you're describing is a cultural and systemic wussiness that seems to be growing, and it does indeed bode ill.

    I can't help but think today's seemingly squishy military culture is due in some measure to the fact we've had too many presidents in recent decades who never served a day in uniform, in some cases actively seeking to avoid military service, or having had no sons (or daughters) who've served or seen combat duty. Such people, in my view, are not well qualified to be commanders in chief. That being said, however, we need look nor further than the Carter administration to see how past military service alone is certainly not enough to make a good president.

    I hope and pray the tough guys and hard-bodies still outnumber the wusses and beta males in our armed forces, and I'm glad your boy is man enough to not only know the difference, but is 'politically incorrect' enough to speak up.

    Please send him my thanks and best wishes.


  14. Dave, I think you missed the point. But thanks for sharing.

  15. Sad, but true, many boys these days have never worked a hard day in their life, and in no way can they compare to the strength of those boys (or girls) raised on the good ole farm, where things are done by hand and makes them into men (or women capable of doing the work in their husbands place).

    Dave, so great that your son recognizes what the difference in a man and a woman is SUPPOSED to be. Curious which ALERT academy he was a part of, as good friends of ours son went through last year, and is now going through Basic for the Air National Guard.

  16. Martha,

    Please don't misunderstand. The OP was great. Great humor. Great kicker at the end. I loved it. I get the joke.

    My main point was that there are very, very few Alices out there. And even if there were, they have no business being in a man's Army, fighting a man's war, for a nation that once held women in the high esteem that they so richly deserve; but that now is so emasculated they send Mommy out to fight for them.

    The Edwards',

    He was in Unit 43, Charlie Company, and was the unit speaker during their graduation ceremony; selected by all his peers for that honor. If you knew what an immensely shy kid he was growing up you'd know how much he has changed in a short couple of years.

    Which ALERT Unit was your son in?

    Which Basic is your son in right now? My son is in 1st Platoon, Charlie Co at Ft. Jackson. He's in the Army National Guard, and is going on to New Mexico Military Institute in their early commissioning program to earn a 2nd Lt. rank in two years.

    He very narrowly missed a West Point appointment ... made it down to the last cut. Very disappointed, but there's always Plan B; which is what he is doing right now.


    Thanks for being prompt with these postings in Patrice's absence. You're doing a great job!


  17. I understand Dave's discomfort with this. Representing people willing to serve their country as redicules hicks is a notion I am not fond of.