My Son Is a Marine

Neither of my sons are Marines, and if any of them were, I would be embarrassed and ashamed to tell you. But many people have sons who are Marines—and are proud of it. I know this because of all the bumper stickers I have seen that read: “My Son Is a Marine.” Sometimes there is even another bumper sticker along side of it that reads: “I ♥ My Marine.”

The only thing worse than this is having a daughter who is a Marine.

Is having a son who is a Marine something to be proud of? Perhaps it was true at one time. It certainly isn’t true now.

What do people think when they see these “My Son Is a Marine” bumper stickers? No doubt most people think that it must be a great thing to have a son who is a Marine. The Marine Corps is the most “manly” branch of the military, is it not? Don’t the Marines defend our freedoms, protect us from terrorists, keep us from having to speak German, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Arabic, and fight “over there” so we don’t have to fight “over here”?

I don’t think any of these things. I think of what the bumper sticker really means. The Free Society Laurence M. Vance Buy New $19.95 (as of 05:30 EDT - Details)

If the parents of Marines put honest bumper stickers on their cars, perhaps they would say things like the following.

My son makes widows and orphans.
My son fights unjust wars.
My son is pawn in the hands of Uncle Sam.

My son bombs other countries.
My son fights foreign wars.
My son is part of the president’s personal attack force.

My son maims foreigners.
My son polices the world.
My son is responsible for the deaths of children.

My son fights senseless wars.
My son destroys foreign industry, culture, and infrastructure.
My son goes where he has no business going.

My son is a myrmidon.
My son attacks other countries that have not attacked the United States.
My son helps to support a network of brothels around the world.

My son neglects his family while he goes overseas.
My son is a mercenary.
My son rebuilds infrastructure in other countries—after he destroys it.

My son serves the state.
My son tortures foreigners.
My son fights immoral wars.

My son obeys orders unconditionally.
My son is part of an organization that is a global force for evil.
My son wastes the taxpayers’ money.

My son spreads democracy at the point of a bayonet.
My son intervenes in the affairs of other countries.
My son serves the state.

My son kills on command.
My son invades other countries.
My son enforces no-fly zones—in other countries.

My son kills civilians and dismisses it as collateral damage.
My son helps to make Americans less safe.
My son occupies other countries that are no threat to the United States. Free Trade or Protecti... Laurence M. Vance Buy New $5.95 (as of 05:05 EDT - Details)

My son carries out drone strikes that miss their targets.
My son fights undeclared wars.
My son spreads goodwill at the barrel of a gun.

My son defends other countries and not the United States.
My son bombs, maims, and kills for the state.
My son helps unleash sectarian violence.

My son takes sides in civil wars.
My son engages in offense and calls it defense.
My son marches while reciting filthy cadences.

My son helps to maintain the U.S. global empire of troops and bases.
My son kills foreigners that resist being invaded and occupied.
My son helps mete out death and destruction overseas.

My son does the government’s dirty work.
My son commits atrocities and war crimes.
My son helps to carry out an aggressive, reckless, and belligerent U.S. foreign policy.

My son transports insurgents and detainees to black sites and torture-friendly countries.
My son helps create terrorists, insurgents, and enemies of the United States.
My son travels the world, meets interesting people, and then kills them.

Now, is every Marine guilty of all of these things? Of course not. But by virtue of being a Marine, he is guilty of many of them.

There are some other honest bumper stickers that the parents of Marines might, unfortunately, have on their cars.

My son was sexually assaulted in the Marine Corps.
My son died in a training accident in the Marine Corps.
My son died from friendly fire in the Marine Corps.
My son died in vain in the Marine Corps.
My son had his genitals blown off in the Marine Corps.
My son died for a mistake in the Marine Corps.
My son died for a lie in the Marine Corps.
My son suffers from PTSD from being in the Marine Corps.
My son lost his legs in the Marine Corps.
My son received a traumatic brain injury in the Marine Corps.
My son died for the military/industrial complex in the Marine Corps.
My son committed suicide in the Marine Corps.
My son came home in pieces in a body bag in the Marine Corps.

Please don’t encourage your son (or daughter) to be a Marine. They can do better.