Help starving families in the Marine Corps?
Q. Dear Nick,
I’m going into the Marine Corps after my senior year ends. I’m looking into becoming a medic. My goal is to make care packages with food, medicine and clothes, have them sent out to wherever I’m deployed come next year and go to local villages with starving families. Provide some help even if it means changing people’s live one at a time. Is their anything in the military such as programs or relief groups that would allow me to do this. If not then how can I serve this movement while still being in the military? Thank you and have a good day.
A. Dear Axel,
First off, thanks for your question. You sound like a serious and compassionate young man, and I wish you well in what ever you do next. I’m going to give you some frank advice on this though. 😉
Your question makes me wonder whether you have any idea what the Marine Corps is. Even as a medic, you will not be making care packages for starving people. The mission of the infantry is to close with and destroy the enemy, hearts and minds campaigns notwithstanding. I suggest you take a look at the movies Restrepo and Korengal for some relatively sobering depictions of what infantry deployments are like these days.
There’s nothing wrong with joining the Marine Corps – there is a need for smart, thoughtful and compassionate people on the frontlines of America’s military engagements, and I have been very grateful at times to be on the right side of US military intervention, but it’s not the Peace Corps.
That said, there are parts of the military that work very closely with the State Department and other organizations to carry out aid programs, largely in the service of counter-insurgency programs. You might be able to find your way into this kind of unit, but I’m not optimistic. I guess my advice is, if you go into the Marines, go because you want to join the Marines, not because you want to make the Marine Corps the Peace Corps.
PS. The Marines are not my area of expertise – I’d love anyone with more relevant experience on this to weigh in on opportunities for this kind of service within the armed forces – thanks!
Thanks to Alex for this comment “Would also note that the US Marine Corps does not even have its own medics—the medical personnel who serve with Marines are actually from the US Navy. I would encourage this young man to do a lot more research overall.”
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