I got your letter last Thursday, (two days ago) and I am glad to hear about your positive attitude.
I happen to be watching the story of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa. He was in prison for 20 years for fighting for equality for blacks in South Africa.
When he was in prison, in a cell by himself, he was only allowed one letter every 6 months. they cut sections of the letters out, so he could never read a complete sentence. Meanwhile, his wife and kids were constantly harassed at night. He was only allowed to send two letters a year to his wife or kids. In some other countries today, North Korea, China; the treatment of prisoners is worse for speaking against the government. You know that in Liberia, they shot the members of the old government when the military took over.
For most of my time in school, you could get thrown in prison or killed in Liberia for protesting the government’s injustices. You could get pulled over for nothing and beaten or shot if you didn’t have money to bribe guards at the checkpoints that were all over the country.
People who don’t know any better, talk about the “oppression” from the government here in America. How it’s not fair. How people have hidden racist code words they use to hold blacks back.
That, my son, is horseshit.
In this country, you are limited only by your ingenuity, work ethic and discipline. Americans respect hard work.
At the height of Jim Crow, when blacks in America could be killed because somebody thought they looked at a white woman or didn’t get out of the way fast enough when a white person wanted to go by, Booker T. Washington, a man wh claimed to be a former slave, was invited to eat with President Theodore Roosevelt, because of his achievements in school and business. Other blacks at the time were wasting money pretending to be rich on the weekends and working as shoe shine boys all week. Booker T. Washington saved his money, got an education and helped start Tuskegee Institute to teach useful skills to blacks.
The idea was they could learn building trades and advanced farming skills, become doctors and lawyers so they wouldn’t have to work for nothing on the old plantations as sharecroppers, or become shoe shine boys in the city. He wanted blacks to have honest ways to make a living. So they could be proud of themselves.
That dude had more reason than anybody in America today to complain about racism; instead he determined to work hard and earn respect instead of complaining about how unfair life is.
The fact that you are in the Marine Corps’ Recruit Training Depot at Parris Island, where hundreds of thousands trained before you to earn the right to defend this country as Marines is a part of the legacy of all those brave men and women who walked ahead of you.
What you endure now, enables you to understand a little of what they suffered. It also hardens you so you can stand firm against those who would snatch away this safe haven from us.
Are there other countries where our family could enjoy freedom? Yes. But this country is the linchpin. Only America has the military and technological ability to stand up to those nations who are not as free and want the rest of the world to be as miserable as they are.
Be proud of this nation. Discipline yourself to learn your chosen trade, the warrior’s craft so all other professions can thrive in your protective shadow.
You have chosen to become one of The Watchers On The Wall. It’s an often thankless job.
You will often be far from home. Frequently suffer discomfort and hunger. At times, you will be hated for being American; even while trying to be fair and professional to the people in far off lands during a mission to help them.
When you return home, you might be accused of being an oppressor by pampered brats who have no idea what you do so they won’t have to.
Don’t let any of that discourage you now or ever in the future. Whatever you do, “…do as unto The Lord” and follow all lawful orders so faithfully that when your chain of command asks you why you are so squared away, you can point to our faith and so make them wish that every Marine unit were filled to the rafters with followers of Christ.
I am proud of you and always will be.
p.s. Rashad Evans fights Ryan Bader this Saturday. The winner of that fight will face the winner of the Daniel Cormier-Alexander Gustaffson fight, which is on the same card, for the light heavyweight title.
Conor McGregor is coaching against Uriah Faber on The Ultimate Fighter. It is hilarious. See you soon.
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