Bill McIntyre, San Clemente
It seems that the city of San Clemente is going to “honor” the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines by making them parade down Avenida Del Mar on Nov. 9. As a Marine who retired after 20 years of service, I want to give you a different perspective.
During the six-month deployment in Australia just completed, the Marines trained for combat, but I’m willing to bet that they didn’t spend a single day training to march in a parade. Civilians may see Marines in parades, but it’s not what Marines train for or do for a living. I marched in plenty of parades during my career, and I can’t say that I truly enjoyed a single one. They were just distractions for training for the mission. When I was an artillery officer, the rehearsals and parades were distractions from training to fire 105-millimeter howitzers. When I was a jet pilot, the rehearsals and parades were distractions from maintaining aircraft systems. This parade down Del Mar won’t be doing the Marines, who have to march any favors.
I guess it’s too late to do anything about this parade, but in the future if you want to honor the battalion when it returns from a deployment, offer to buy a Marine a beer. Urge their commanding officer to give them the day off to spend with their loved ones. Or throw a BBQ at Park Semper Fi and invite them to attend on a voluntary basis. Just don’t make them parade for our enjoyment.
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