Not all poolies are created equal.
I am writing in response to the letter written by Andrew Mathias. First of all he made a broad generalization about young people in the 16-18 year old age group. I do not believe we should stereotype people in this way. I found his letter very disrespectful towards young poolies and recruits. They deserve a lot of credit for making the decision to join the Marines at such a young age. Its a very adult decision and requires a lot of thought and courage to make such a decision. Let me tell you about my young poolie. This kid’s parents abandoned him when he was 5 weeks old. That’s when I took him in and raised him as my own as a single parent I might add. He calls me “MOM” and he feels every bit like my own. He is 17 now and he has brought a lot of joy to my life. Especially since my daughter passed away when he was 2. He has gone through anxiety and abandonment issues growing up and he has worked through it. Yeah he acts like a know it all at times, but he is a very good kid and has always made good decisions. He has been involved with music since the 5th grade when he started playing the clarinet. He went on to learn the bass clarinet, tuba, bass guitar and the bari-sax. He has been in marching band, concert band, orchestra, the winter enselmble and has played for our high school’s musical for the last 4 years. He has also been in regional honors band and state’s honor band. All of that requires a lot of discipline don’t you think Mr. Andrew Mathias? He talked about enlisting in the Corps several years ago and sent for information when he was about 12. On the second day of school this year, his senior year the recruiter called and he made an appointment to see him the next day. Sounding like the military commercials that are on TV, we talked about it that evening. I told him that I would support any decision he would make. The next day when he came back with the recruiter from his appointment. The recruiter told me that he wanted to become a Marine. He asked me if I would sign a paper giving him permisssion to make his own decision. I couldn’t say no. In my heart of hearts I wanted this for him for awhile but I never told him that. I am actually swelled with pride with his decision and his future as a Marine. The funny thing is you wouldn’t know it by looking at him. His hair is quite long. So I am sure if Andrew Mathias saw this kid on the street he would stereotype him as a long hair rebelious teen. His hair is only his musician look. He grew it long to donate it for locks of love. He is also a regular blood donor. He is very into physical fitness and watches what he eats and works out on a regular basis. Let me tell you how dedicate he is, this past weekend, March 18th-20th, we had our musical at the high school. After going to school on Thursday he had a performance that evening and we got home near 11:00p.m. He went to school on Friday, came home and ate, went to the gym and back up to school for Friday’s performance. On Saturday he got up at 7:00p.m. drove an hour away for his IST came home got ready for yet two more performances on Saturday. I might add he played two instruments during the show. We got home around 11:00p.m. that night. That’s just a little sample of how dedicated he is to both the Marine Corps and his role as a musician. By the way he didn’t sleep in the next day, he got up and went to the gym. I hope and pray that he chooses to go into one of the Marine bands because he is very gifted and talented. I’m not just saying that because I’m his MOM, I’m saying that because its true. He says he wants to go into infantry because he wants to make a difference. If there are any Marine band members out there I’d like to hear from you. Well Mr Andrew Mathias before you decide to stereotype anyone again just keep this story in mind.
Linda L. Bentley, Future Mother Of A Marine