Marine Corps to Peace Corps

You know what just drives me absolutely bananas…when people ask me how I can possibly go from the Marine Corps to the Peace Corps. “You know that’s like the opposite right?” “What are you going to do now, kill them with kindness hahahaha?” Oh you are hilarious, I have never heard that…ever.

First off just to clear this up I did not go into the Marine Corps because I thought killing people would be oodles of fun. I went in the Marine Corps because I wanted to teach Afghan women how to read. I know you are thinking…WTF?!?! That makes about negative fourteen percent sense.

I know, I know, but a lot of things make sense when you are 20. At 20 I also thought Billy Madison was the greatest movie ever so let’s just keep things in perspective and ease up on the judgment, I’ve grown since then.

And just to answer all those unasked questions, No I did not get to teach a single Afghan individual how to read. I did have some amazing experiences in the Corps, made a lot of really good friends, made a few mistakes, and grew up a lot. Definitely a positive experience in my book!

So back to my original point…going from the Marine Corps to the Peace Corps. I got a lot of similar questions when I decided to get my MSW degree. What does a Marine know about social work? I had a hard time articulating exactly how I could fit well into both worlds until I had a conversation with another former Marine who also got into a touchy-feely profession.

He said “you know that Marine inside you who believes you should be the one to fix it, runs towards the danger, or would do anything to protect anyone…how is that much different than social work?”

He is right. In the same way that I wanted to be the one to bring education to the women of Afghanistan, I still want to be the one to help each individual in need. There is just something inside me that says “You can make a difference.” I’ve just narrowed my focus from thinking I was single handedly going to save the entire world to a more realistic goal of making a difference one genuine connection at a time.

So from the Marine Corps to the Peace Corps? You bet! The desire to change the world is the exact same for me in either Corps, I’ve just changed the way I’m going about it. Same me…different outfit 🙂


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