EXCEPT in time of peril, those who devote the best years of their lives to the maintenance of national security are looked upon by the majority of the civilians as outsiders, almost outcasts. This opinion applies only to the enlisted men and is possibly sometimes merited. Nevertheless, the enlisted man, by reason of his occupation, should be given the benefit of the doubt. It is because most people are unable to comprehend the kind of life a service man leads that this attitude is so prevalent. It is my purpose to show in this article that the soldier, the sailor, or the marine is in most cases simply ordinary human material which has been subjected to a strain and a test, and that these actions have destroyed certain tendencies and built up others—a true spiritual metabolism. As an example of the period of destruction and construction to which I refer I will use the training period at Parris Island, which presents a fairly accurate picture of life at any American military or naval training station.
The Spiritual Value of Discipline
By Corporal William W. Childs, U. S. Marine Corps