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Enigmatic
04-10-08, 12:08 PM
Semper Fi Marines. I'm new to this site. I just got out of active duty last September. If I may, I just wanted to share my recent struggles with everyone. I'm sure some of y'all may have been down the same path before.

It hasn't been easy since I got out. Matter of fact, it's been downright depressing. For starters, since I been home I don't socialize with anyone at all, I feel like no one can relate to me except my wife, who's also a Marine, you know? We all know we're a different breed, and I just don't click with anyone else.

Then there's the fact that I feel...."stripped" of my identity, you know? I was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Now I'm, what? I only feel like I'm someone when I'm with another Marine. Case in point: Where I live in suburban Chicago, there has been a lot of problems with illegal immagration. Now, I'm Mexican by definition, born and lived there for five years, I'm a legal resident of this great country, currently trying to get my citizenship. But I feel as American and proud of it as anyone.
Anyways, there was a pro-illegal immigration rally in my hometown. I drove by it, and it piqued my curiosity enough to get out and see what was going on. Before I knew it, there were protesters and minutemen left and right, shouting at me to go back to Mexico and God knows what else. Now, I was wearing my USMC hoodie, and a senior citizen emerged from the crowd and said simply "Semper Fi, Marine." I replied "Semper Fi, sir," and walked back to my car undisturbed, and left. Rather than being angry for being personally attacked, I left feeling extremely proud that the bond we as Marines share still transcend such trivial things as race no matter what the situation.

I'm going to school full-time and studying criminal justice. I'm thinking of going into Law Enforcement. But every day I regret getting out. My wife and I are struggling financially. I guess it's true what so many SNCOs told me, the grass ain't always greener on the other side. The problem is, and this is very tough for me to admit, I've been depressed since I got out and my weight has suffered for it. I've ballooned to 220 pounds. At 63 inches, with a max weight of 155, how am I supposed to go back in? It's going to take some time but I feel like if I don't lose the weight and go back in, my family will never get out of this rut.

Should I just ride this out, see if things will get better? Or should I follow my (now big) gut instinct and go back in?

Everyday on my drive home from school, I pass a house with a flagpole that has the American flag and :flag:. It almost seems to be beckoning me to go back....

jrhd97
04-10-08, 12:16 PM
If your wife is behind you follow your heart. You and the wife are a team, don't discount her thoughts.
Find a Marine Corps League chapter in your area. You'll find plenty of old Marines ( some young) who know what your going through. Heck just socializing with them is good enough.

thewookie
04-10-08, 12:28 PM
Semper Fi Marines. I'm new to this site. I just got out of active duty last September. If I may, I just wanted to share my recent struggles with everyone. I'm sure some of y'all may have been down the same path before.

It hasn't been easy since I got out. Matter of fact, it's been downright depressing. For starters, since I been home I don't socialize with anyone at all, I feel like no one can relate to me except my wife, who's also a Marine, you know? We all know we're a different breed, and I just don't click with anyone else.

Then there's the fact that I feel...."stripped" of my identity, you know? I was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Now I'm, what? I only feel like I'm someone when I'm with another Marine. Case in point: Where I live in suburban Chicago, there has been a lot of problems with illegal immagration. Now, I'm Mexican by definition, born and lived there for five years, I'm a legal resident of this great country, currently trying to get my citizenship. But I feel as American and proud of it as anyone.
Anyways, there was a pro-illegal immigration rally in my hometown. I drove by it, and it piqued my curiosity enough to get out and see what was going on. Before I knew it, there were protesters and minutemen left and right, shouting at me to go back to Mexico and God knows what else. Now, I was wearing my USMC hoodie, and a senior citizen emerged from the crowd and said simply "Semper Fi, Marine." I replied "Semper Fi, sir," and walked back to my car undisturbed, and left. Rather than being angry for being personally attacked, I left feeling extremely proud that the bond we as Marines share still transcend such trivial things as race no matter what the situation.

I'm going to school full-time and studying criminal justice. I'm thinking of going into Law Enforcement. But every day I regret getting out. My wife and I are struggling financially. I guess it's true what so many SNCOs told me, the grass ain't always greener on the other side. The problem is, and this is very tough for me to admit, I've been depressed since I got out and my weight has suffered for it. I've ballooned to 220 pounds. At 63 inches, with a max weight of 155, how am I supposed to go back in? It's going to take some time but I feel like if I don't lose the weight and go back in, my family will never get out of this rut.

Should I just ride this out, see if things will get better? Or should I follow my (now big) gut instinct and go back in?

Everyday on my drive home from school, I pass a house with a flagpole that has the American flag and :flag:. It almost seems to be beckoning me to go back....

Couple of things..

1. Why did you get out? There must have been a reason(s) so what I'm saying is focus on that reason and use what the Corps taught you to focus your energy on that. Then think about all the BS you dealt with in the Corps, that usually helps me for a day or so!

2. Bro, we all go through the "why did I get out." I spent eight great years in, did everything I could possibly imagine and had SSgt in the near future if I stayed in, but still I wasn't set out for 20 years. I wanted new challenges, but I still think about it everyday. And twice on payday weekends! What helps me is this site, the EGA tie tack I wear everyday that reminds me of my core values from the Corps. The Corps wears you down, physically and mentally. Don't feel like you're that different. Accept what you did and accomplished and NEVER forget it. And keep in mind, a lot of Marines have gotten out and done very well for themselves. I like to think of it like I pulled a Barry Sanders, left while I still could and on my terms. And to move to be successful at something new, you also have to come to grips with it.

3. The money will come, nothing in life is worth doing for the money. Unless your job is to be Hugh Hefner, then I'd do it for the money only. Do it because you love it, you weren't in the Marines to make money. Time Devil Dog, time and hard work brings wealth. Slow down your spending, pick up extra jobs, do anything it takes to pay the bills and get to that next level.

4. You're going to need to find some Marines in your AO and link up. Talk to the recruiters, find the local MCL. Get around Marines because when you get out it's good for your soul. Semper Fi Marine, stay hard!

5. You will always be a Corporal of Marines.

Oooh, and use some self discipline, you should have plenty of that and lay off the burgers and fries (or the tacos and enchilada's:) and do some PT. As you know Pt-ing will make you feel better and if you're going to be a cop then it's not a bad idea anyway.

sdk87to91
04-10-08, 12:49 PM
I was broke as can be when I got out, but I lived easy and free. I worked fun but hard labor jobs for a living and stayed in shape. I eventually got a hold on my finances by selling my truck. I had to start over with a piece of Sierra for a ride but am doing well now.

It took me 4 years to go to college, so was I had stableized and was back in line.

Everywhere I went I got jobs by dropping the USMC into my Resume.

Good Luck God Bless and Semper Fi

outlaw3179
04-10-08, 01:18 PM
Go back Bro. F the nasty civillians. Many of us want to but we can't for whatever reason. Lose that fat, get your ass in gear and get back in the fight Marine! Semper Fi!

nsx
04-10-08, 01:40 PM
I would like to say a few things here if I may. I too had several issues with getting out; everything from depression to getting fired for fighting, and just plane stupidity. You need to get out there and search for programs that can help.
An example would be going to your local community center. They offer night and weekend classes “job training” or you can use your GI Bill to get that education. There are programs out to help but you have to get up and do it. Whether you go into the Marines as a quick way out where everything is handed to you or you decide to fight for your stake in this world it is up to you.
Everyone deals with anxiety, depression; and so on after Marine Corps life but it is to be expected as you are alone now in a world that you have yet to exploit. You know the day to day routine in the Corps so now you have a choice to make. You can either run back to what you know or you can make your own path.
There is never a day passed where I don’t miss my brothers but I have made a choice and I stuck to my guns to be successful.
Marine simply put get your head out of your arse! There are too many programs out there that will afford you the opportunity to do something. I know it seems tough right now but it will only get better but you and you alone are on the front lines. There is no other person than you so you need to get out there and make it happen.
You still want in! Get out and PT till you want to DIE! If you decide to stay out and start a career well get a job and go to school. Look for military friendly companies that are hiring, budget yourself and buy what you need to survive. (Overcome and Adapt)!
There are transportation companies that are hiring left and right for driver managers and that will bring in 30-40k a year while you attend college or a trade school. Transportation is proven to be almost recession proof because people need commodities to survive.
What ever you decide I hope you succeed DD!
Semper Fi

Artemis
04-10-08, 02:00 PM
I think the majority of Marines have the same problem. I know my husband and I did when we got out. We both joined the National Guard so we still get to wear a uniform albiet an Army uniform but it opened the door to a lot of job opportunities. Just remember there are reasons you left the Marine Corps stick with what you are doing and things will get better. It does take a while though. It took us 8 months or so to adjust to the so called real world but it can be done.

Enigmatic
04-10-08, 05:36 PM
Thanks to everybody that replied.
I feel like I still got an itch that only being back in digis can help me scratch. I didn't get to do enough of what I wanted.
My wife joined the Reserves, maybe I could do the same.
I think I'm just going to get my ass back in shape, keep hitting the books, watch my finances, and do what's in my heart. I knew I would have to seek other Marines' advice on this one. Thanks. Semper Fi.

Big Jim
04-10-08, 06:27 PM
Thanks to everybody that replied.
I feel like I still got an itch that only being back in digis can help me scratch. I didn't get to do enough of what I wanted.
My wife joined the Reserves, maybe I could do the same.
I think I'm just going to get my ass back in shape, keep hitting the books, watch my finances, and do what's in my heart. I knew I would have to seek other Marines' advice on this one. Thanks. Semper Fi.

I think everyone who gets out goes through this stage, bro! Take the advice and stick to your decisions. You didn't get out of the Corps to fail...you got out so you and your family can succeed at life! You know...the house and white picket fence, two vehicles and the 4-wheeler for the week-end and maybe an above ground pool for the BBQ's on the weekend! The American dream!! Once you and the ol' lady get steady jobs with a steady income. The stability will come and so will the comfort of you making the right decision. I got out after 12 years, well 8 years active duty and 4 years active reserve. I slowly eased into the civilian life and I was still scared of the unknown when I finally did EAS! So, don't feel alone, my brother! Besides, you'll always have us to BS with when you need someone to talk to!! Hang in there and things will happen...slowly but surely, but things will happen!

SlingerDun
04-10-08, 06:51 PM
Should I just ride this out, see if things will get better?No, it wont get much better unless you engage upon a career that challenges you deep enough to remodel or enhance your character. Its been my experience that it requires yet another commitment, boot new guy all over again with a new set of skills, guidelines and dangers. The venturous jobs that make you say -OMG what have i gotten myself into, please lord help me make it through this day- are the ones that stuck to my mental resume like an eyeball on a cactus needle.

You wanna be a cop? I've heard that can be a rewarding career and curiously stimulating.

--->Dave

jetdoc
04-10-08, 07:12 PM
Ringo, as others have said you get that feeling when you first get out. When I went from a Sgt in the Marines to a SSgt in the Air National Guard I felt like, WTF? The Guard was like a job, pretty much...rank didn't mean much in our unit.

It can be a struggle when you first get out and the economy is in the toilet, as you know. You have do decide if you want to stay civy or go back into the Marines, or the Guard. Going full time Guard can get you a full time federal job, but you can get activated these days, as you know too.

I must say what happened to you at that demostration sucks. That is a prime example of how people shouldn't judge a book by thier cover. Fvck them people brother.

brian barr
04-10-08, 07:43 PM
I have been out for 29 years and I think about the corps everyday. I have been very fortunate in civilian life but I would trade it all to go back in. The feeling has never left me. I chose to get out because the girl I married back then and am still with did not want to be a military wife. I decided I liked her better at the time. I should have stuck to my guns but no. You have to decide what is best for you. Don't look back 29 years from now and think what if? Good luck to you and your family. Seek advise from your local Marine Corps Leauge or the Marine Corps Assn. You,like me and all others will always be MARINES. No one will ever take that away from you. You just need to decide if you want to be a active duty MARINE or a Non-Active MARINE. Remember there are no former MARINES. SEMPER FI:flag:

yanacek
04-10-08, 07:50 PM
Get in touch with your local Marine Corps League Detachment. It will help for you to meet with other Marines.

Enigmatic
04-11-08, 04:28 PM
I want to thank everybody for their advice and words of wisdom. I will decide what is the best course of action for me, but as I stated in an earlier post, in the meantime I won't deter myself from going to school and bettering myself education-wise. I did some research and was surprised to find out my local Marine Corps League Detachment is only ten miles away, and I will pay them a visit at the earliest opportunity.

yellowwing
04-11-08, 04:55 PM
Hanging out with other Marines is the best medicine, whether here and or the MCL! :usmc:

Marine84
04-12-08, 10:20 AM
I felt the same way - you're not alone. Even after 20 years of being a slimey civilian, I STILL have to remind myself every now and then that I'm not in the Corps and I can't yell "HOP TO IT!" to all of these politically correct a$$holes in the office without causing somebody to seek therapy.

jrhd97
04-12-08, 10:45 AM
I was more afraid of getting OUT then I was of going to PI.
I hear ya 84. Sometimes I catch my sefl muttering about damn civilians.

SGT7477
04-12-08, 07:10 PM
As a Marine you know in your heart you are strong I have been out for 31 years in June do it now if you want to go back in you are a survivor Bro don't wait years down the road when you yourself can make the difference we are on your side Marine, Semper FI.

USMCmailman
04-12-08, 08:48 PM
Gonzo-----I got out 39 years ago and always regretted my choice. I was only 20 when I got out. Still a kid. I would go back in a minute if I could!

WELCOME BACK UNITED STATES MARINE !

RLeon
04-13-08, 02:28 AM
I'll be hitting my 10 year mark of disembarking from active duty...and like the others have mentioned it's been 10 years of "Why the heck did I get out?!"

You'll be alright CplGonzo, you're in good company...there would be something wrong if you felt otherwise.

Looks like you're on the right track education wise. Start running and get back in shape, you will feel better, mentally and physically.

Semper Fidelis!

:beer: :marine: