Tender-hearted Marines

Tender-hearted Marines May 29, 2013


 The thing about stereotypes

Marines have a reputation for being badass and that’s pretty true. They’re really good at what they do and they don’t take a lot of shit from other people (who aren’t Marines). However, they are some of the most gushy, tender-hearted SOB’s I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

From time to time you’ll hear stories that will shatter your preconceived notions.

Shattering preconceived notions

Marines LOVE romance movies — commonly referred to as chick flicks. No joke! I’ve never met a group of guys that will sit around and watch the notebook together. Well I HAD NEVER met a group of guys that would willingly do or admit that until I joined the Marines.

Before my first deployment to Iraq we were stuck in Fort Polk, Louisiana, doing some workup in the middle of winter. It was our last big evolution prior to the deployment and we were holed up in some big metal boxes on cinder blocks. They were heated and had electricity, which was good enough for us. It’s better than sleeping in the freezing rain and the mud.

I was the newest guy in the platoon and i remember coming inside, thankful for the heat (it was raining ice at the time), and I noticed a group of Marines all sitting on two or three cots hovering around a single laptop. They had a plethora of speakers attached to the laptop and all the Marines appeared on the verge of tears. I walked over and recognized “The Notebook” playing on the laptop. Like any good Marine I sat down with them and became enraptured in one of the greatest dumpfy “chick flicks” of all time. By the end we were all about to cry so my buddy Tom said “Quick, somebody tell a joke. I don’t want to cry.”

This brought about a round of laughter and we all managed to hold our dignity in front of one other. Until we watched it again. We watched “The Notebook” about 40-50 times that month as a platoon. Yeah…


That’s not the exception to the rule

One final story on that. My friend, Tyler, on this last deployment had to stand Shore Patrol. Basically he walked around the liberty port and made sure no one got drunk and arrested. He was with a group of about 8 other Marines and their assigned area was some mall.

He was assigned to rove around the mall with Marines from other platoons that he’d never met before and so obviously he had consternation about just how much he could let them be aware that he was a “girly-man” as the Arnie would say. They all decided to kill time on their post by watching a movie in the theater and all voted on some action movie.

At the end of it they all came out bitching about how horrible it was. Tyler, fed up with the facade declared loudly and proudly, “We should’ve just watched that new Nicholas Sparks movie!” The positive reaction he received from the other Marines surprised the hell out of him. They all agreed just HOW MUCH they were dying to see the new Nicholas Sparks movie, as well, but were afraid to bring it up with a group of Marines they didn’t know.

So the next time you’re out with a Marine…treat ’em to a chick flick. They’ll bitch, but secretly they’ll be happy.

What a bunch of pansies…!

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  • mas528

    May I posit an explanation?

    Like doctors don’t like “medical” movies, computer experts hate “hacking/computer intelligence” movies.

    Since from my civilian viewpoint, marines are all about action and are serious about it, they see through the silly fake crap macho movies.

    I bet that they are hungry for so-called sappy emotions, and are confident enough in themselves (they’re marines after all) to seek outlets for their own emotional life, like movies that used to be called chick[flicks.


    • Paul Loebe

      I might be an anomaly. I hate war movies. Most Marines I know do like them. They make fun of them because the tactics are weird and the scenes are many times unrealistic. But they do like them.

      I do not. I never have had a fascination with war. I just like being a Marine.

  • Marines do have a soft side.

    But I have to admit… I’m on the outside where movies are concerned. Most of the Marines I know like all of the X-Men, Fast and Furious, action-packed, completely unrealitic movies that are real popular today.

    I personally prefer movies that portray human characters with human responses to human situation. For the most part, anyway.

    And I never liked war movies either. But you do have a point that it’s difficult for someone who is familiar with a subculture to watch a poorly-presented representation of that subculture. For example, lots of folks think that, because I’m a chess enthusiast, that I would love the movie “Searching for Bobby Fisher”.

    I watched it. It sucks. Doesn’t even remotely resemble reality.

    Same goes for most movies that portray life in the good ‘ol USMC.

  • Paul Loebe

    You’re right. Most of us talk mad shit about war movies. They suck at the uniforms, tactics, and culture. As long as they don’t claim to have “realism” then I guess it’s not that bad.

    The worst was “The Marine” with John Cena. I went with my buddy to watch it in theatres. We talked mad shit the whole movie. Some chump in the row in front of us told us to “respect the service members”. We made fun of him and then talked about how Marines can dodge bullets like John Cena. He didn’t appreciate that.

    Either way. It was a dumb movie that didn’t reflect the Marine Corps so we trashed it.