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t's not easy being a Marine Corps Brat. Growing up around the Marine Corps was like eighteen years of boot camp. I ran my first PFTwith my father when I was nine years old, completed the obstacle course when I was twelve and the confidence course shortly thereafter. All Marines were referred to as "Sir" or "Ma'am" and punishments for breeches of conduct would invariably involve push-ups and hello-dollies. When I enlisted in the Marine Corps myself, my father stated smartly that they wouldn't do anything to me in boot camp that he hadn't done to me himself at least once. Amazingly, he was right.

I grew up in our Marine Corps household with two brothers, one older, one younger. Although we've always been tight, occasionally (like most brothers, I think) we would get on each other's nerves. My little brother saw getting under my skin as a sport, or at least as a means of passing the time in the event of boredom. On a slow day in the summer of '86, boredom got the best of both of us.

I was on the phone conversing with a friend, David, from school, when my little brother, Kevin got on the upstairs phone and started pushing buttons to the tune of "Mary had a Little Lamb."

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb,
Little lamb...

I could hear the words in my head as I heard the tune in my ear. I became very annoyed, very quickly, and bellowed up the stairs, "KEVIN! YOU BETTER GET OFF THE PHONE OR I'LL TELL DAVID SOMETHING YOU DON'T WANT HIM TO KNOW!" To that he replied by dialing:

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb,
Little lamb...

"I MEAN IT KEVIN!" I yelled.

Unpersuaded, Kevin kept it up.

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb,
Little lamb...

And then there was a break in his dialing. I took this pause to divulge the information that I threatened to. "David," I said into the phone, "Kevin still wets his bed!"

"Really?!" David asked with astonishment.


This was information that my little brother didn't want let out, to say the least. Although his problem was purely medical, it was his most closely guarded secret ... and now it was out! Kevin immediately hung up the upstairs phone, and like a typical older brother, I started to laugh about the disclosure with my friend.

The next thing I knew, Kevin was standing in front of me with tears streaming down his cheeks. He was holding our dad's Mamaluke sword like a samurai warrior, and he shrieked, "I'LL KILL YOOUUUUUUUU!" I told David I had to go and I hung up the phone. Kevin swung the sword like a bat at my head. Adrenaline pumping, I dodged the sword. He swung again : I dodged again. As I back-stepped, I threw a small kitchen chair between us. Kevin then lunged forward with the sword, aiming for my midsection. I sidestepped his over extended lunge, grabbed him and threw him on the ground, pinned with one arm behind his back.

We sat there on the ground for a while, stunned by the enormity of the situation. Finally, catching my breath, I said to him, "Man, Dad's gonna KILL you if he finds out that you touched his sword!"

Semper Fi!

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