“Surfing for Dolphins”


I’d been talking to an Army guy about some of my USMC experiences and it got me remembering a whole lotta stuff when things get quiet. I figure I am going to start writing some of these down and sharing them.


*may not apply to wives and girlfriends

When I got to my first unit, there was a guy there who made fun of me and picked on me. We’ll call him LCPL. Wally. I don’t think he was being malicious, or a bully, or the like, but it did annoy me a good bit. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the guy, but I don’t like getting picked on.

Finally, one day we were going out for a field op and we had all gotten into the back of the 7-ton trucks to ride out to the field. LCPL. Wally was clearly having a bad day. He was really down in the dumps and appeared to be depressed. Mind you, many Marines are depressed. I think I was depressed for 4 years straight. I got out and felt happy and I didn’t know what that emotion was or how to deal with it. Anyways. So LCPL. Wally is clearly miserable, more so than the normal Marine misery. He looked like he just found out that his dog died, and his grandparents passed away, and his girlfriend left him all on the same day. Me, being the clueless yahoo that I am, didn’t pick up on this until some some of the guys started chatting with him and he indicated that he was feeling down. So I chimed in.

“Hey LCPL. Wally, when ever I feel down or depressed I have this way to cheer my self up. It works EVERY time.”

Now at that time I was rather quiet and reserved, I didn’t really know the people in the unit, so this got people’s attention. Everyone in the back of this 7-ton truck shut up and listened. LCPL. Wally perked up a bit and responded, “Oh?” as he waited for me to continue.

“Well. . . when I feel down, or bad, I tell my self, ‘At least I’m not Wally.‘”

I could never describe that look on his face, but I could feel that I applied the right weapon at the right time. It was like something inside him broke. You could see the instant it happened. A moment later when the others grasped what happened, they started ragging on Wally. I just returned to my stoic silence for the rest of the ride.

Wally never picked on me again.

You can actually pin point the second his heart rips in half.

Bart Simpson S4E15

I was going to write more, but this might have been my finest movement. I’ll write on other memory some other time.


  1. As a guy who tends to sound rude without any intention of being rude, I hope Wally got better about it.
    I swear to G-d, there’s way too many sayings your close friends wouldn’t bat an eye at that would rile a stranger up to the point of a sucker punch.


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