One time at Band Camp a 70-year-old Hispanic lady put her hands down my Dress Blues pants while I was on the march… But more about that later.

Quantico Marine Band at Super Bowl XLI (Gabe Santacreu Flikr)

First, I’d like to say that SOFREP has some extremely knowledgeable staff writers and some guys who are still, or have been, Grade-A savages. Most of the stuff I did while in the Marine Corps involved marching, traveling, and tuning. But on a parade deck. I was in the Parris Island Marine Band, and here’s my story.

St. Louis, MO, 1999. Bill Clinton is still president (but he neither inhaled nor had sexual relations with that woman). The St. Louis Rams actually have a pretty good football team (13-3). Mark McGwire was still demolishing baseballs at home plate but the St. Louis Cardinals had an abysmal overall season record of 75-86 (ouch). And then there was me. I had started Junior College that fall and I absolutely hated it. I skipped more classes than I attended. I’d never liked school, but I was there at no cost to myself courtesy of a trombone scholarship. Plus, I had no one making me attend. So, I didn’t. 

You Couldn’t Make a Pimple on a Marine’s Butt

I’d show up for orchestra practice just enough to not lose my scholarship but I generally had a dozen reasons why I was unable to attend. Simply put, I was a bum. I needed structure and a purpose. So, one day, after skipping yet another day of classes, I went to my grandparents’ house. It was, and still is, a small, comfortable mid-century house. My grandpa told me he bought it for something like $4,500 and was looking for me to spend the same on a new house. Oh, the 50s.