OK, So Here's The Deal...

A Marine Major, Running Fool, and All-Around Smart-Ass.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

By An Anonymous Marine

This is some good stuff.

By An Anonymous Marine

"I recently attended a Kansas City Chiefs football game at Arrowhead Stadium. It was their annual Veteran's Day tribute so members of all the services were asked to participate in the festivities.

A color guard for the National Anthem was provided by the Buffalo Soldiers Association. They looked very sharp in their 1800s-era US Army Cavalry uniforms. Following that, the Navy parachute team put on an impressive display that brought cheers from the 78,000 football fans in attendance.

Shortly thereafter, we were treated to the truly awesome sight of an Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flyover as well as a few other aircraft. All of these sights -- but especially the B-2 -- were truly appreciated by the crowd who let it be known by their cheers.

I expected that was all we would see of the US Military that day. I thought we would see a high school or college marching band during half-time. Few watch those shows anyway because they have to go to the head or grab another beer during the intermission.

Shortly before half-time, however, I looked down on the sidelines near the end zone and saw the Marine Corps' Silent Drill Team forming up. As the half-time show started, the players left the field and the announcer came on the public address system to advise us of the Drill Team's performance. Many of us Marines have seen these performances in the past and they're always awe-inspiring. I didn't expect that the large civilian crowd of football fans would be as appreciative of the Drill Team as they had been of the high-tech B-2 or the daring of the Navy parachute team. However, I was on the edge of my seat. As the Drill Team marched onto the field, the crowd grew noticeably quieter. Soon, the team was fully into their demonstration.
The stadium was absolutely silent.

From high in the stands' upper reaches where my seats were, I was able to hear the "snap" and "pop" of hands striking rifles. Both big screen "Jumbotron" scoreboards displayed close ups of the Marines as they went through their routine. As they completed their demonstration and lined up for the inspection, the crowd began cheering as the Marines twirled their rifles in impossible fashion. Then came the inspection. Again, the crowd fell silent and watched intently as rifles were thrown, caught, twirled, inspected and thrown some more. Each well-practiced feat brought a "wow" or "did you see that?" from those sitting around me.

I sat there in silent pride as I watched my brother Marines exit the field.

A young girl behind me asked her mother a question about how the Marines learn to do the things they just did. The mother replied, "They practice long and hard and they're Marines; they're the best."

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  • At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Cpl Johnson WD said…

    Great read Capt. Grose. I saw the Marine Corps Band and Silent Drill Team during boot camp. It was awsome! You may have been the Capt. I went to boot camp from Dec 86 to April 87.

    Cpl WD Johnson
    Desert Storm Vet

  • At 6:03 AM, Blogger a.maria said…

    that totally made me "awwwww" at the end. i heard all about the b-2 and performance from some friends that were at the game.

    very very cool.

  • At 12:58 PM, Blogger Viper said…

    CPL Johnson: Hell, I didn't go until June of 87 and I didn't get to see a damn thing. I did get to go to 8th and I during OCS to watch them but being treated like a candidate in public was not all that great.

  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger Viper said…

    a.maria: That's waht I was shooting for, ou saying "awwww." Maybe you can give me a virtual head pat too.

  • At 3:55 PM, Blogger a.maria said…

    done and done.

  • At 5:18 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    Wow, that gave me chills just reading it. We were treated to the Silent Drill Team and the Drum and Bugle Corps when I was in the pool. There was a Gunny at the MEPS station who was actually IN the Drum and Bugle Corps and he hooked us up when they all happened to be in Chicago. It was incredible.


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