A speech given by U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor
, Staff Sergeant
Peter McGinelly to his platoon. The speech was given to multiple platoons but was first given in September of 1998, Camp Pendleton
Staff Sergeant Peter McGinelly was 5'9, he weighed in at 150lbs. His eyes were strong but had a seriously sad droop to their edges. He was one of the softer-spoken Drill Instructors, only inclined to yell when the platoon was out-of-doors. I spoke with him while I was in San Diego, May of 2003. The speech is reproduced with full consent of Mr. McGinelly.
"I am an orphan. My mother abandoned me as an infant and I grew up in a youth home. The only concept of parenting that I had was the underpaid teachers that kept us kids from killing one-another. The only concept of brotherhood I had were the other children, practicing whatever form of corruption their parents had taught them before leaving them in the street.
"When I was sixteen I left the home, worked very hard to obtain my GED and worked in a mall to support myself. I would see, every day, the decisions of fathers guiding their families righteously, leading them to better and better times. I would see children, fighting for the pride of their mother, a pride that would defend them during the lonely times we all have. I would see brothers and sisters relying upon one-another in a way never seen before in all of nature for protection and support.
"It wasn't until I was eighteen that I discovered that there was, indeed, a family for me out there.
"The Commandant, head of household for the U.S.M.C. family became my father. By extension, every superior I had was a father. The orders of the Commandant are our righteous guidance. I love the Commandant.
"The right to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor became the pride of a mother I never had. By being worthy to bear the same symbol, to fight for the same causes, as men and women who have been fighting since the American Revolution, I found a way to validate my existence. I love the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
"And I am never alone in this world because of the thousands of other men and women who have been united under the pride of our great emblem and the guidance of our great leader. I have brothers and sisters of every religion, in every part of the world, who I both like and dislike. But there is no mistake, every Marine is my brother or sister. I love all my brothers and sisters.
"Do not be confused, I hate every one of you. I hate you like I hate Missouri's god-forsaken cold, like I hate the cornbread in the galley, like I hate the ringworm on my feet. But you are protected from my wrath by my mother and father who, through infinite mercy, want to adopt you."