I took time off work today to go to my nephew’s graduation from high school.  He’s the sixth of seven children – all home-schooled – and a cool guy.  Fun-loving, with a great laugh.  He runs sound at his church.  He edits a magazine with paid advertising and a paid circulation.  He’s an accomplished musician, and a determined bulldog when he sets his mind on something.

That’s good, because he’s going to be a Marine.

He has signed up and been accepted.  He’s not the archetypal jarhead – he’s lanky, verging on bean-pole.  But he’ll toughen up and fill out.  And he’s signed up (through a set of paperwork errors) to be an accountant for the Marines.

This is not a joke.  The Marines have their own needs, and their category of “accountant” includes things like managing warehouses, so he’s not necessarily going to be stuck behind a desk with his trusty calculator by his side.  He may be deployed to war zones.  He’s a Marine, and there are people out there who don’t like Marines.  He’s not getting a free ride.

And I’m proud of him.  He decided what he wanted to do and put his mind to it.  He graduated from school early by putting in about 90 hours of school-work a week, since sometime last fall.  He’s going to defend our country – me – from the bad guys.  He’s going to do it however and wherever they tell him.  And even though he’s an accountant, he’s going to have to go through the same basic training as the guys who end up on the pointy end.  He’ll have his own weapon, and know how to use it and how to clean it afterward.

He’s a Marine, and proud of it.  Good job, sir!