As many of you know, I served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves from my graduation from Parris Island in February 1991 through my honorable discharge in March 1999.

My time in the Marine Corp was relatively uneventful as I enlisted during the first Gulf War and completed my contract before 9/11. Never saw combat during my eight years. Many of my friends and fellow Marines who went through boot camp as members of First Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in South Carolina went on to hit the front lines following 9/11 and served faithfully and honorably.

I enlisted in March of 1990 as a senior at Boston University. Watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the Gulf War as cable news became mainstream, I wanted to serve my country and as you know, love a challenge. So, I headed out to the downtown recruiting center and stopped into the U.S Army office first. The problem was the pitch. All about the benefits and the discount opportunities as an enlisted serviceman.

For me, it was anything but a challenge so I walked up two flights to the Marine Corps office. The recruiter presented it in the perfect way, explaining how difficult the journey would be and that I'd have to pass an initial fitness test in order to "qualify" for enlistment. I was in. Signed the papers on the spot.

At the time I was so energized I was ready to ship out for boot camp and blow off my upcoming college graduation. Cooler heads prevailed and the Marines delayed my deployment until November. It was one of the more challenging experiences of my career for sure. Worth every painful and challenging minute. From the boxing matches that I did not win to the obstacle courses and sand fleas, Marine Boot Camp is an experience that you don't forget.

I'm proud to have served my country and will continue to dedicate my time to promoting and standing up for our nation's veterans. That said, It's important for people in positions like mine to call out things that are not appropriate and as I'm writing this on the 246th anniversary of the founding of the USMC, today is as good a day as any.

Shame on the Commandant of the Marine Corp for continuing the COVID-craziness by canceling the celebratory annual Balls to honor the service and history of the "few and the proud." People are back to normal in states across the nation. Tens of thousands of Americans are packing stadiums at colleges and for NFL games without distance, masks, or vaccine requirements. The death rate in totally-open Florida is less than the rate of locked-down/vaccine-segregated New York. But the US Marines, who are charged with being first on the ground to fight America's enemies, can't gather in large groups.

The ignorance and stupidity seemingly have no limits when it comes to the weakness and wokeness on display with many in the top ranks of our military. Tucker Carlson hit the nail on the head with his commentary on a "woke" general for supporting critical race theory. The military is a place to train warriors to protect our nation and our freedom. When the military is running scared of a virus that is reportedly responsible for an estimated one out of three "common colds" AND we learned early on from the CDC that most deaths occurred among those with an average of nearly THREE underlying conditions.

The bottom line is that we all know diseases are real and you have to take care of yourself and strengthen your immune system to get through life. We also hope that our military members are among the fittest people in our society. So, it stands to reason that the military should be the last place to run from COVID.

As a former Marine, I'm embarrassed for the military that wokeness and weakness are dominating the current leadership. It's time for the military to get back to normal.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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