Tag Archives: brothers

Why Do We Do It?

Via Allen Marshall

So as the end of my second deployment draws closer and closer, I’ve been pondering a thought, related to the question a lot of Marines are asked, and that question is “Why do we do it?”. I’ve come to the realization that the reason we do what we do changes. For example, ask a young man fresh out of boot camp, or even fresh out of high school about to leave for boot camp, and the typical answers you will get will be along the lines of :”I want to fight for/serve my country.” “My family is part of a military tradition” or “I’m doing it for school benefits.”. These are all excellent and admirable reasons for deciding to pick up a rifle and put your life on the line. Now jump ahead a few years, and this same Marine is now a combat veteran, with 1, 2, even 4 or more tours in Iraq or Afghanistan under his belt. You ask this veteran the same question again, and I will bet anything that I hold dear that his answer will be: “I do it for the men to my left and my right, my brothers.”. All those previous reasons, they simply become a byproduct to being out there with your brothers watching each others back. That’s what we are, brothers who have left blood, sweat, and tears on the battlefield. Your best friend back home for 15 years or more will always be just that, a friend, now that is not a bad thing, everyone needs friends in their lives. However, that man you spent just 7 months with in Afghanistan or Iraq, he is now your brother for life. No one will understand what we do or what we go through except for the people who go through it with us.”