Posted by: beansai | February 10, 2008

Journal Entry #2: Jarhead (continued)

    I have been lacking in my journal entries lately. It seems that there is always something more drastic and demanding happening to steal my attention away from my side assignments. Oh well, as long as I get back on track early enough, right? Exactly.

    All in all I really enjoyed reading Jarhead. Of course, I don’t have any previous intimate knowledge of military life aside from my assumptions. It was interesting to see an inside account of the life of a Marine, even if it is necessary to take it in with a grain of salt due to the fact that it is merely one person’s account and perspective of military life. I’ve never felt pre-disposed to think of the military and war in a positive light, having my own fears and issues with life and death, coming and going. Being raised in that typical feminine sense (as in my mother planned for me to grow up, get married, have lots of babies) the idea of possibly marrying a military man sent me running the other way.

    I remember my first boyfriend, when I was fifteen, had talked about wanting to go into the Marines (I believe….it has been awhile) once he was done with high school and honestly, that just didn’t work for me. He was just a year older than me, but already it seemed his mom and my mom were planning for us to get married and we had only been going out for a couple of months. Military wifedom was WAY too much commitment for my fifteen year old brain. After about three months of dating I bailed out. My second boyfriend, that I felt better matched with, even though I was still only fifteen…yeah…I know…not much time between those two :/ Anyway, I already felt better about being with him and not nearly the familial pressures that I had endured with my previous boyfriend. We got along well and enjoyed each others company, but again, about three months in to our relationship, he called me up on the phone. He was so excited after talking to an army recruiter. He had it all planned out (and being a couple of years older than me, was near enlisting age) and was excited about interviews and what not that he was going to have soon. I admit, the only thing I could think of was what would I do if he was shipped off for six months at a time, or more if a war came along. I was already abandoned by him in my brain. Either by death or distance, in the end it was all came to the same thing in my mind… me living without him. I tried my best to be excited for him during that phone conversation, though I remember stifling my tears. So I have obviously never been inclined to go through the experience of military life on either end…militant or spouse of.

    I have a great uncle that went to Vietnam. He never talks about it. I didn’t even know that he had been in the military until I was older. Just like with Swafford’s father and so many others, it just isn’t something that is talked about. I think this is a sad circumstance…but maybe that is just because I’m part of a generation where everybody has some kind of neurotic tendency and we’ve generally decided that the only way to deal with so many issues and pressures of our fast paced life is to talk it out. Granted we are still a bit of a transition generation, where it is but isn’t okay to divulge every psychotic instance of your life…


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