Scott, My Old Marine Student
A tall Marine-looking kid walked into Gleason’s Gym and said hello to me.
He looked familiar, but I don’t really remember who he is. I used to be a pro boxer, and my memory is not grand. It’s spotty. I got a little damage up there. In my crazy world, I think that that makes me more intelligent.
“I’m Scott,” he said. Huh? Well? I got a glimmer. Things started coming back to me.
I trained Scott about five years ago. He was a big, strong kid. He had just come back from Iraq and wanted to take up a contact sport where he wouldn’t get blown up.
“Now I remember,” I said. “You left the gym to go down and do some FBI work. You were getting married to some Russian girl.”
“Well, I’m back. I’m in the reserves, and I’ve got to pass a physical fitness test. You have any time to train me?”
Cool. I like training Marines. They are so much more real than the spoiled Brooklyn types.
We decided to do a one-hour lesson every other day, in which we would do a half-hour of boxing and the rest of the time work on his chins. He had to do twenty chins to get a good score for the reserves. He was two hundred pounds, so it wouldn’t be easy. He was in good shape and could do ten.
In my office, we discussed politics. I told him that our president is a weak liar, and I didn’t know how he could follow his orders. I couldn’t respect a commander in chief who sympathizes with the enemy and thinks the freedom of a deserter like Bergdahl was more important than containing five Taliban terrorists who would shortly try to kill us again.
Scott surprised me when he said, “I’m not into politics. My job is just to kill or be killed.”
I was impressed by his focus. That’s what a soldier should be – a killing machine. It’s a shame that his commander in chief is a coward who doesn’t have his loyalty to a mission, but instead spends his time trying to make flowery, humane speeches.
Does Obama have no shame? How does he feel worthy of making a Memorial Day speech? I couldn’t do it. At least I’d know that I was not worthy.
Scott said, “I want to do well on the test because I want to re-up and go to Afghanistan. When I’m old, I want to be able to say that I was there.”
“Stick to boxing. They blow your legs off in Afghanistan. When I’m old, which I already am, I can talk about how I fought at the Mirage Hotel in Vegas. And I’ll still be able to walk.”
“I think I got to do it.”
“What will your wife say?”
“I’m not telling her. She’d kill me.” It reminded me of when I told my wife I was going to Boston on business. I went up there and got knocked out in a professional fight.
I told Scott that I was 4-F during the Vietnam War. I was a poet and a pacifist in the sixties, and I didn’t want to get blown up. I was a little embarrassed compared to Scott’s courage.
Scott was kind to me, saying, “It was a different war.”
I don’t know. I’m a good fighter, but I don’t like guns and bombs. It’s embarrassing, but I’m a little like cowardly Obama in that. That’s why I wouldn’t vote for me for president. I’m a coward. At least I’m aware of it.
The Democratic Party pins medals of courage on Obama’s chest as if he is the Cowardly Lion. I’m no good. Neither is he. His chest is hollow. That’s why his empty rhetoric comes out tinny.
All power to Scott. He does what he does without questioning it. It’s a shame men like him risk their lives for weaklings like Obama.
I’d like to talk Scott out of Afghanistan. But I won’t try. America needs courageous men. America needs Scott.