So why on earth would I put a post on here that was titled like that? Well, for one, this past week I had a blast (more or less) out in the field doing weapons training. When I say weapons training I mean to say that we got to fire an M203 grenade launcher, M249 light machine gun, and an M240 medium machine gun. In addition we did combat shooting exercises and even fired a combat course at night with night vision googles. It was a blast despite not getting a shower and having to sleep on a cold concrete deck with not but an inch thick pad and MREs for nearly every meal. This upcoming week we have our final 15 kilometer hike and then our three day field combat training exercise. Basically it is MCTs version of the Crucible except that instead of near constant PT we are doing things that would and do currently actually happen in a real world combat environment (IED detection, patrolling, how to deal with local civilians, urban combat training, defensive position construction, etc.). Once that is done I will done with the training here and will graduate on the 27th of September.
However, despite my graduation, I will not be leaving here immediately as originally thought. I will stay here as part of a special platoon of guard Marines whose job it is to, well, guard, the SOI area until my MOS school starts. I am not sure how long that will be for but it could be from 2 weeks to a month or so. I am not too frustrated about it as I have heard that it is pretty chill. I like to view it as a working break between MCT and my MOS school.
Spiritually things are going well. This past Sunday we were able to have a good evening worship service. The chaplain gave us a motivating talk about our motivation for being here based on the September 11 attacks ten years ago. We were able to get a few prayer times in out in the field and I continue to read my Bible whenever I can in the evenings. I have a friend in my platoon who has taken a great interest in what the Bible talks about and says. I feel that God is really opening the door for me to share the gospel with this guy and I am trying to be faithful to His lead. It is VERY tough here, in many ways more tough than boot camp ever was, but where things get tougher my reliance on God’s providence and grace gets stronger.
This past Wednesday I turned 26 years old. It is hard to believe that so much has happened over the past year or so in my life. God has been leading me on quite a roller coaster of experience and change, but I don’t complain because it has built my faith in a way that a simple life could never do. I do feel pretty old at times running around being a Marine with all of these MUCH younger Marines but they are encouraging (generally) and fun to be around. To all of you who wished me happy birthday on Facebook or in letters or have been praying for me or even simply reading this I thank you and say God bless you! As I have said many times before your prayers, love, and support are often the extra little push I need to get me through some of the toughest challenges I face here.
My mom posted a new video on here channel. Check out the link below. It will give you a general idea of what I was dealing with at boot camp. I’ll post again as soon as I can, probably next weekend sometime. God bless to all!
Prayers: Please pray for my friendship with that Marine I mentioned above. Pray that God would open his heart to the truth of the gospel and that God would shine through me and my actions and words and that I personally would diminish and allow God to move in and through me.
Pray also for safety and motivation for my platoon (1st) and Company (Golf) for this upcoming week. We have our hardest hike yet (15 kilometers) followed by a three-day field training exercise before we graduate.