Quick thanks from a former poolee


My name is Ryan Dwyer. I was a fairly active poolee on the site about a year and a half or two years ago.

I know you likely have no recollection of me as so many people pass through this site, but I wanted to thank you (and the rest of the Marines on the site) for all the advice and help they gave me.

Ultimately I decided to drop out of the DEP and return to college. I had problems that the Marines could not solve, and I believed that by joining up I was going to fix everything and make something of myself. Unfortunately, then, I joined for the wrong reasons as I was ultimately running from my problems.

I have depression, anxiety disorder and ADHD that I went on and off meds for. I had to get off to join the Marines. I also was young and struggling through life, and I had a drinking problem, was smoking a lot of pot, and at one point was addicted to cocaine. I had the idea that the Corps would turn my life around; that once I got the EGA pinned to me, I'd be a new man and my past self would be forgotten.

We all know this is not how it works. Talking to people on this forum, gaining perspective, and reading their stories gave me a chance to understand what exactly I was attempting to undertake, and made it clear to me that I was not ready for the military. These Marines helped me by listening to my fears, my concerns, answering questions, and providing motivation. At the end of the day the question always came back: How bad do you want this?

I want to thank you and them for running and contributing to this forum. I got honest, straightforward answers; I got help and comfort when I needed it. When I expressed my fears I was not belittled, but the Marines listened to me and talked to me just as they would talk to anyone. I feared I would be mocked, called weak, etc. These men and women did nothing but help me.

My poolee contract officially ran out in June of '09. I have not been here for a long time, because I was scared to face the fact that I had been so gung ho and had quit. I had to fix my problems on my own, however; a wise Marine told me that the Corps wasn't going to make changes for me. I am not looking for pats on the back or sympathy, but I am proud to report that I am nearly a year sober, have lost 21 pounds, and almost have my degree. This was the path I was meant to take, and I owe everyone here my most sincere thanks for helping me in any way they could and, in the end, to help me figure out that whether it was boot camp, losing weight or school, all I had to do was try.

Some of the Marines who were especially kind and helpful with their time were Gator347, sparkie, davblay, Backblast, and Petz.

I'm sure that nobody here really remembers me as poolees come and go, but I wanted to post this somewhere and with my restricted status I can't. So I figured the best thing was to send it to a mod. I may not have ended up going to boot and earning the title, but I learned a lot from these Marines and I want you to know that their help probably contributed to the fact that I am not homeless or dead. If there is any way you can express my gratitude to everyone here, please do. I will always respect the Corps. Thank you for your time.

Ryan Dwyer