The Marines have always been warm to my heart. My dad was a Marine. He’s told stories not just about war, but the brotherhoods he formed and the sense of the good he was doing. He’s 99, and still calls himself a Marine. My brother served with the Marines as a Corpsman.
And every year at Christmas time, the Marines gather toys for a worthy cause: Toys for Tots. The organization has been around since 1947. Although I think of Toys for Tots and equate it with the Marine Corps, one cannot forget Gunny Hartman and his “Christmas carol” in “Full Metal Jacket.” Gunny leads his boots in singing the carol.
After the rousing Christmas carol, Gunny then explains the relationship between God and the Corps, on Christmas Day. If it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, we can’t be friends.
Gunny has this to say before his boots can open their presents:
Today is Christmas…Chaplain Charlie will tell you how the free world will conquer Communism, with the aid of God, and a few Marines.
Marines aren’t supposed to just kill the enemy (although that should be the Corps’ primary mission); Marines also have been taught to hold a sense of good and evil, and to defend the weak and timid.
In Torrance, California, on Tuesday, four thugs did what has become an all-too-common occurrence in everywhere from Walmarts to shopping malls to jewelry stores. The thugs generally come in packs – that way, they intimidate everyone. Generally, the thieves don’t need to intimate anyone. Store employees are told to let them rob and destroy whatever they want, and at any speed.
“Don’t get involved” is the mantra, as store merchandise is heisted. The cost of goods goes up, or worse, the stores close because they can’t get anyone to insurance them. Or the cost of staying open just becomes too expensive. If employees try to (or do) stop crooks, they are fired. If customers try to stop them, they are held back.
The Torrance thugs didn’t find Tuesday’s robbery all that uneventful. Although the crew started with four guys, only two of them got away. The thieves brought hammers and bags with them and smashed display cases, stealing thousands of dollars in jewelry, while stuffing the merch into the bags. Employees stayed out of it and let the thugs do their thing.
Not so with the Marines. See, the genius bad guys robbed a jewelry store next door to Marine Corps Recruiting Station. Ooops, for the robbers.
As the thugs made their escape, the two Marines manning the post took down two of them. While the Marines held down the bad guys, some citizens got involved and “helped.”
The video of the apprehension and take-down is a little “late,” although we can see the Marines holding the two losers, while other citizens jump in.
A witness said:
“[It was] the Marines. The Marine Corps… They stepped up, they tackled them down,” said Ralph, who captured the robbery on video. “Two got away, two got tackled down, and they stepped it up. That’s enough. Time to fight back.”
The two “suspects” (I don’t know why we have to call them suspects, when they were caught red-handed) were detained. There’s a photo of the thieves sitting on the ground, with their heads bowed in dejection. It’s a lovely sight for Christmas.
In 2021, there was another Marine who took down an armed robber. Sure, he was a “former” Marine — but still, a Marine.