Apr 22

Make Your Military Voice Heard: Stop the Budget Cuts Today

#KeepYourPromise


Step 1:
 Follow Keep Your Promise” to keep abreast of the latest changes. Invite your friends both military and nonmilitary supporters to like the page as well.

Step 2: Please join these two public Facebook events so you can be kept in the loop with what is going on.

Hear us now or hear us in November Make Your Military Voice Heard: Stop the Budget Cuts TodayStep 3:  Write the following email to Congress today. Why is this so important?

Commenting on Facebook is not enough. It is so important that you spend a few minutes to contact your Senators or Representatives. We’ve made it simple so you can copy/paste the text, adjust as necessary, and fill in the blanks.

We’ve included the emails, twitter and Facebook information for those Representatives and Senators who sit on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. They’re the ones we’re trying to persuade as the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act is being considered.

Step 4: After you’ve emailed them, follow up with a Tweet or Facebook their walls to let them know you’re concerned.

A big thanks to MOAA and Tony Carr, for putting together this fantastic resource. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 22

Living Off Base for Recruiting Duty: What I Miss

Living Away from Base on Recruiting Duty Living Off Base for Recruiting Duty: What I MissI was excited to live in the civilian world when my husband told me that he’d been selected for Recruiting Duty. That meant no more silly base rules, no need to wait in line to pass through the gate to get home, no more military 24/7 in our lives… but after a year and half of being away, I really do miss it.

I try to not be that person who complains. Life is not really bad here in Texas, it’s just different. When I married my Marine five years ago, I had no clue what I was getting into. I had no idea that this lifestyle we live, the one that so many people deem as “crazy”, is really quite amazing.

In this short amount of time, I have become a proud Marine Corps spouse! I have learned that the needs of the Marine Corps sometimes do trump bedtimes, date nights and vacations, but that’s ok. We sacrifice so our husbands can represent the United States Marine Corps, that’s pretty awesome! Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 16

Runners Banned from Marine Corps Marathon for Common Practice

Marine Corps Marathon 1775 300x199 Runners Banned from Marine Corps Marathon for Common Practice

Photo courtesy of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Honor, Courage, and Commitment run deep in the Marine Corps and those values extend to runners who participate in the Marine Corps Marathon Series.

It’s not an usual practice with runners. Injuries happen and life gets in the way, so participants trade bibs. Some even sell bibs. Of course this is all frowned upon by event organizers, but many continue the practice anyhow.

Until now, where the Marine Corps Marathon has not only exposed the winner for trading the bib, but the fact that he impersonated the individual whose name was tied with it.

The Marine Corps Marathon originally posted an interview with the first and second place finishers if the 17.75K Prince William Forest Park Run: Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 15

Highway 62 Death and Injuries to Twentynine Palms Marine Base

Update 4.16.14: It is with heavy hearts that we report that Angela passed away on April 15th from injuries. More information from the accident has been released according to the High Desert Star:

“Nikki Jones, of Twentynine Palms, said she was on the scene of the accident and saw a third vehicle, which she said caused Zapata’s car to veer into oncoming traffic.

“I was driving west. I was in the right-hand lane,” she said Tuesday. “A black car raced behind me. It whipped around me and back in front of me and then it whipped up there in front of the white car, causing it to swerve.”

After the black car cut off Zapata’s vehicle, Jones said, it kept going.

That’s when Zapata hit the Marine Corps family head on (see original report below). Zapata, 22 of Magna Utah, has since been released from the hospital and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and causing an injury, a felony, according to a report issued by the California Highway Patrol, as reported in the High Desert Star. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 13

How the Proposed DoD Budget Cuts Affect Military Families

How the Proposed Budget Cuts Affect Military Families How the Proposed DoD Budget Cuts Affect Military FamiliesLast week our senior enlisted leaders delivered testimony to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel regarding the proposed DoD budget and its impact on military families.  As a 12 year military spouse who has served on the homefront, I felt compelled to provide my perspective after hearing their testimony and to offer a counterpoint to the arguments I heard from DoD.

Years of living this military lifestyle filled with stressful moves to unknown duty stations and seeing the cost of war up front and personal, it was integral that our families have a thoughtful, engaged, online community for conversation to take place.  Simply said, I created USMC Life to do just that.

Today’s conversation centers on the impact of the proposed DoD cuts which is devastating to the retention and morale of our armed forces. What is even more worrisome, is the random chopping away of benefits without waiting for the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to release their findings about where the changes (if needed) should occur. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 12

Marine Corps Boot Camp Stories: The Drawl Remembers When

the drawl remembers when marine corps boot camp stories 235x300 Marine Corps Boot Camp Stories: The Drawl Remembers Whenshitcan”: [shit’kǣn]   A highly offensive term for the act of discarding an object or objects of an unpleasant nature, of no value or of inferior quality. Origin unknown but possibly an old U.S. Marine Corps term.

I have often wondered why in my “autumn years”, as some wag defined as getting old, that I am able to recall some incidents in inestimable detail that took place a half-century or more ago, yet I cannot remember where I put my shoes the night before. Odder still, to recall one of these ancient incidents requires only the smallest hint to one of our senses to trigger the memory.

This phenomenon came to pass last week when my wife and I were on our foray for weekly groceries at Walmart. I stood patiently by while she was trying to make up her mind over which brand of peanut butter she preferred when I heard clearly a man’s heavy Southern drawl in the next aisle over; “Now whaa do we need one o’ thim thangs?”  The single word  ‘Why’ (‘whaa’) breached decades of dust over a dormant scrap of memory from 50 years before.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 11

SgtMajor of the Marine Corps Issues Statement to Marines

Sgt Major Barrett has issued a statement to his Marines about his testimony on the Hill after reading our open letter. How do you feel about his response?

Check out our follow up post to the article featuring Sgt. Major Barrett discussing our open letter with the Marine Corps Times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 10

An Open Letter to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Michael P. Barrett

An open letter to Sergeant Major Barrett Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps regarding his testimony on April 9 2014 on proposed budget cuts. 203x300 An Open Letter to the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Michael P. Barrett

4.14.14 Update: The Marine Corps Times recently interviewed Sergeant Major Barrett regarding my open letter below. Discover my response to that article here.

Sir,

Let me start with stating that I have a lot of respect for you. I think you are without a doubt, one of the best Sergeant Majors this Corps has seen. But I’m greatly disheartened by your testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel yesterday.

I read the Marine Corps Times article with the following:

“Barrett’s comments came in contrast to his counterparts in the other services, who conceded to senators that lower pay raises, scaled-back commissary offerings and smaller housing stipends would be problematic for many servicemembers.

Instead, Barrett argued that the lower quality of life would be beneficial to Marines.

“I truly believe it will raise discipline,” he said. “You’ll have better spending habits. You won’t be so wasteful.”  … “In my 33 years, we’ve never had a better quality of life,” Barrett said. “We’ve never had it so good.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 08

Camp Lejeune Marine Gate Guard Dies from Gunshot Wound

Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf 300x300 Camp Lejeune Marine Gate Guard Dies from Gunshot WoundUpdate from Stars and Stripes, “Marine officials said the shooting was likely due to a negligent discharge on the part of the suspect, who has not yet been publicly identified by investigators since the investigation is still ongoing. According to Joe Kennedy, special agent-in-charge for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service Carolina Field Office, his agency is working with the Legal Service Support Section on Camp Lejeune on drawing up charges against the Marine. Kennedy said no official charges have been filed but that they are “forthcoming” against the Marine. Kennedy said there is no time table on when the charges will be filed.”

Lance Cpl. Mark N. Boterf, 21, of Crowley, Texas, died April 8 after receiving a single gunshot wound to the chest while on sentry duty at Camp Lejeune’s Main Gate. He was assigned to 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group aboard Camp Lejeune. He was temporarily assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune as a Marine sentry.

Born on December 18, 1992, Boterf joined the Marine Corps in August 2012. He joined 2nd Radio Battalion in 2013, served as a Special Intelligence System Communicator (MOS 2651) and was promoted his current rank on October 1, 2013.

His awards include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal. Lance Cpl. Boterf has no deployment history.

LCpl Mark Boterf has a twin brother named Mike who is also a Marine as reported by a Mississippi newspaper. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 08

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps’ Opening Statement to Congress 4.9.14

An open letter to Sergeant Major Barrett Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps regarding his testimony on April 9 2014 on proposed budget cuts. 203x300 Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Opening Statement to Congress 4.9.14

Click to read my open letter to the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps regarding his subsequent testimony how budget cuts will affect families.

Our war-fighter readiness: being most ready, when our nation is least ready. Care for our wounded, ill, and injured and our family care programs, preserving strong families, transition readiness, returning quality citizens, after their selfless service. Combatting social ills, prevention, accountability, treatment and resiliency. And maintaining our facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization for our billions of dollars worth of infrastructure.

Today I report more than 37,000 Marines are forward deployed, forward engaged, shaping, training, and deterring aggression around the globe. Supporting all six geographical combatant commanders. We are providing our nation the capability to contain crisis, build a gap, or hold the line.

We may be done with Afghanistan this year, but those that we have been fighting are not done with us. At our core, the Marine Corps is the nation’s crisis response force and fulfilling this role is our top priority. We’ve met and continued to meet our obligations in current conflicts, emerging crises, and steady stayed operations. To that point and most recently, your Marines’ efforts have saved lives, provided much needed relief, and evacuated over 19,000 victims ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan.

Our special purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response successfully executed a non-combat evacuation operation in south Sudan and provided reinforcements to other US embassies. We have participated in hundreds of theater security cooperation activities with the armed forces of more than 50 partner nations. The 13th, 22nd and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are afloat and they stand ready as a rapid response force capability providing stability in their area of responsibility. Read the rest of this entry »

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