January 1998-July 2003


Here's me in the middle in Iraq https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=1450570866274&set=t.1172962934&type=3&theater

Comments: 427 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

CrYpTO_Sporidium65 karma

Hi! Australian here, I had read that most Americans are fully supportive of the troops and even have bumper stickers that say so.

With this in mind, was it a surprise that you didn't get one offer after firing off 50 resumes or is it more reflective of the state of the economy?

Also, I'm happy that you made it back safe. With ANZAC day just passed, it's a reminder of all those that didn't.

denverblows64 karma

It was totally a result of the economy at the time. About a year later I was hired at my company because the manager was ex military.

d0ntp4n1c4 karma

I had the opposite experience. I ended up having to drop my 3 years Airborne from my resume and fudge some dates. Next week my phone was ringing off the hook. Civies have the thought process grunt=stupid which is actually inaccurate in my experience. I even had a full on phd psychologist in my OSUT. Finished his med school and wanted to serve his country. Hell, I scored 93 on the ASVAB and basically had to fight to get an Airborne contract because the army wanted me doing the "smart" jobs.

EDIT: Case in point, look at the animosity in the replies for someone who took 3 years out of their life to serve their country. SMH

denverblows12 karma

Haha sounds about right. Sounds like you made out ok though?

RedStag863 karma

Just because he is ex-military? See, that's where I have a problem. I'm all for supporting troops, but if someone is more qualified for a job but is passed over because the other applicant is a veteran is not okay. I'm not saying that was the case with your situation, but it does happen.

denverblows30 karma

Well let me clarify, There were only three people for the job and none were too qualified, he actively seemed me out internally because I had electronics background, so he KNEW me because of military service. I didn't beat out a higher qualified candidate.

I'm sure stuff like that happens, but so does hiring pretty girls, HR cases and buddies of the boss.

boobiesucker17 karma

Do you see Iraq turning into a stable democracy or do you think it will become a region plagued by violence and instability for decades to come. Based off your thoughts, do you think it was a wise/correct decision for the U.S. to have invaded?

denverblows30 karma

My personal opinion is a little flawed, I had just gotten back from Afghanistan and now from my point of view we were getting sent back to start something else so-to-speak. On the opinion that Saddam and his kids were horrible people, I think that needed taken care of...on the WMD issue, it's my opinion that there wasn't any and it was a scapegoat in a sense.

how_did_it_get_there13 karma

What was your job in the marine corps, and what civ jobs did you apply to? What's your post corps plans now?

denverblows25 karma

I was a 5937 aviation radio tech that partnered with an infantry unit. When I got out I sent 50 resumes to electronics corporations. We were in a recession for the industry and two weeks later when I called on them, 13 of the businesses had closed and most were doing layoffs.

I'm currently an MMA coach (just for kicks) and and engineer at a semiconductor factory.

say_or_do13 karma

HAAA!!! not all jokes aside?

denverblows6 karma

no thats true haha

trustmeijewish3 karma

Hi I am 19 and am considering joining the Marines, I guess any tips or things you wish someone told you? Basically any advice you have would be great. And thank you for your service.

denverblows5 karma

do what you're told, keep your nose clean And enjoy the ride. Boot camp is all a mind game and looking back it was a great time and makes for great stories.

Oh and before you sign, make sure you get the college fund included...not just the GI bill..you'll be glad you did.

SetoFeng3 karma

It sucks that you fired off 50 resume's and got nothing but did you ever think of joining a union and finding a construction job, It's what I did they will take anyone regardless of skill they even have some training programs, well with my union anyway, I now run my own crew out here in nevada anyway man if you ever become unemployed hit me up ill direct ya where to go :)

denverblows2 karma

I appreciate it man. I had a specific industry and I needed immediate benefits for varying reasons. I had some options but nothing that could cover costs I had with new kid, no house. I felt the military would give my local industry options time to recover and luckily they did.

SetoFeng1 karma

Well man if the need ever arises let me know glad to see a vet doing well and thanks for your service.

denverblows1 karma

I appreciate it, you're the man.

powbang3 karma

this may come off as a rude question, which isn't intended, but do you think being a veteran should have any influence on you getting hired over any other candidate that applies for a job? if so, why?

denverblows4 karma

No, not at all. I know the benefits that come with service and knew it from the start and I don't expect anything more than that. If someone is more qualified, job should be theirs

SomeWhatCompetentTom3 karma

My apologies in advance for my general ignorance. What's the difference between all these different branches of the military over in the states? For example the difference between the army and the marines, the navy and the coastguard as this is very confusing for an Australian. Also do you believe the toppling of the Saddheim (not sure about spelling) has made life better for the general Iraqi public? Also when you were over there what was the publics sentiment ? IE very anti American and pro Saddheim.

Also (sorry I think I've over used this by now) thanks for this AMA and I suppose your service.

Edit: thanks for explaining the differences to me.

denverblows6 karma

Here it's more of an ego thing between services and the easiest way is to break it down like this: USMC - 12 week bootcamp Army - 8 Air Force - 6

At least that's what I rememeber, so you can see where "I'm more awesome than you because I did more" comes in...it's all ego to some extent.

Marines and navy are same department and they cover sea and land mainly..some air.

Air Force is air, army is ground and choppers. Of course there's more to it, but that's a basic rundown. Sorry about my spelling, I'm on a phone.

I think te people of Iraq are better off without sadden and his two kids, but that's my opinion

YeahNope119 karma

The Air Force's basic training is 8 weeks long.

denverblows6 karma

my mistake, thanks.

Wzup3 karma

I think when you say 'some air' for the Navy is a bit of an understatement. One of our air craft carriers (I've only heard this, but it kinda makes sense) has a stronger/larger air force then 70% of the world. The Navy alone is ranked among the top air forces in the world.

denverblows2 karma

Well it was generalities, I'm an f-18 fan (navy). Love em

Theonetruth2 karma

Marine brat, Camp Kinser, 86-91 represent!!!

denverblows2 karma

Boooooo! great karaoke night on Kinser though. :)

SigSauer932 karma

Advice for anyone going in?

denverblows2 karma

Just do what you're told and play the game so to speak. also I mentioned to someone else on here...before signing make sure you sign up for the college fund - it's different from the Gi bill

Ysasmendi2 karma

Did you try Amazon? They hire a lot of military for their operations teams: http://www.amazonfulfillmentcareers.com/opportunities/military/

denverblows2 karma

I'm employed now, but thank you.

11War2 karma

Do you think the public's infatuation with the Marine Corps has any downside? Does it detract from the reputation of your sister services? No disrespect meant; the best people I know are Marines. I just don't think the rivalry is always healthy in a volunteer force when it's aching for volunteers. (I.e. The army in 2006)

denverblows3 karma

There are downsides to anything...I mean you can see it in some of these comments and questions. I think anyone that goes into the military is doing a job they don't have to.. That being said, I don't think public view waves as much as it does internally

somenamestaken2 karma

What's your MOS?

denverblows2 karma

It was 5937/39

juloxx2 karma

So there have been various rumors for quite sometime that the USMC plays some part in the cultivation and smuggling of Opium/H into the United States. We all know the government has been caught various times in the past (see Iran Contra Affair) bringing narcs into the United States, so I have no reason to believe they have stopped.

What are your viewpoints on this? Did you see anything related to this activity during your work in the army?

denverblows2 karma

I hope they get caught. I never saw anything like that

DMane882 karma

Where in Oki were you? I was on Camp Hansen with 3/12

denverblows2 karma


JD_SLICK1 karma

You and I had very similar careers, albeit on opposite coasts. I was on the 15th MEU that teamed up with you guys to form TF58 and secure Rhino and Kandahar, and like you I ended up part of the initial invasion of Iraq 16 months later. I came in in '98 and got out in '03... but I stayed in Hawaii and got a job when I got out. Good times.... never thought it was AMA worthy, so nice to see people are curious about our sort of experience. Cheers & Semper Fi.

denverblows2 karma

Shoot man, we were probably at Rhino the same time. What was you MOS? When were you in Oki?

redlitch811 karma

This is a serious question, does the average US marine (over the age of 25) actually think they are fighting to preserve US freedom and are keeping us safe?

I say over the age of 25 because I know at a younger age people are more susceptible to hive mind mentality.

denverblows5 karma

I wouldn't know, we're all still different people with different opinions

SalsaRice1 karma

I've been doing lots of reading about resumes and getting hired at jobs the last few years (I was just out of college and looking). The general consensus for the high number of veterans that i kept seeing was poorly written resumes. Basically civilian HR departments had little knowledge of military knowledge to know if a candidate was acceptable, vs the normal qualification they would see in a civilian resume from in experience/college. I know personally, I had to overhaul my resume multiple times just to move around different emphasis to different parts of my experiences. This always made huge changes in the number of calls I got. From multiple HR department AMA's here on reddit, it seems HR departments only spend a few seconds on average looking at any given resume, so you have to catch their attention fast.

Articles kept mentioning the small amount of resources and low usage rates of these resources for veterans to get their resume reworked for the civilian world. How many drafts of your resume did you have? Did you have any help preparing it?

denverblows2 karma

They had a resume writing class towards the end. Obviously ten years later and some college my resume is a lot better.. I'm not sure if there is any assistance now but it was very basic.

ghost_victim1 karma

Hi! What's your favorite number? Is it 5 1/2?

denverblows2 karma


feldamis1 karma

Why would a company dent you? A person who was in the military who worked the absolute hardest that many people combined in their entire life time.

Anyways, when combat comes and when you have to kill someone, do you get really, really guilty? Or times, (please be honest) do you enjoy killing terrorist?

denverblows2 karma

Well if there isn't room in the company there isn't. Would have cost them money to hire me for work they didn't need

2_minutes_in_the_box1 karma

Where were you stationed?

And thank you for your service.

denverblows3 karma

Boot camp in San Diego, the 29 palms CA, to Okinawa then cherry point NC

onacho1 karma

Did you live on a base at some point in your career? What was life like there?

denverblows3 karma

Cherry point NC at the end. Base is like living on a college campus run by your parents with less females.

EwokieYouTube1 karma

What is your opinion on the Ukrainian and Russian conflict?

denverblows3 karma

Is what it is right? From my understanding a civil war brewing? I don't know enough to really give an opinion of the outcome. What do you think?

w0mpa11 karma

Sender Fi, brother. Rah

denverblows1 karma

Semper killer.

Kolt19451 karma

What is your opinion on US Troops being deployed to Eastern Europe for the time being?

denverblows2 karma

I honestly don't have one. There are politics with every deployment.

AbominableFrost1 karma

What are you up to now since this was about 10 years ago?

denverblows2 karma

I'm a semiconductor engineer and mma coach to stay busy (it's fun)

That_Unknown_Guy1 karma

What do you think about the reception veterans usually get (patriotism, "we support our troops", meh etc)?

denverblows2 karma

my personal opinion is that it's very thick and patriotic in spurts. the deployed come home, there are flags everywhere and a week later nothing. Obviously there are exceptions and vets tend to help each other out forever...check out some of the responses on here like "RAH" "Semper fi" and "devil dog"...those are all marines or marine vets. I don't know em, but I'll help them out at the drop of the hat and they would too. It's a brotherhood.

JohnnyBear211 karma

In thinking about joining the marines but terribly out of shape. What should i do to better prepare myself for the physical part of bootcamp?

denverblows1 karma

Run and run and run, then do pull-ups. you won't regret it

ironwolf561 karma

Oorah Devil Dog. I'm also a USMC veteran (0311 in an LAR, served 99-02, out a bit early on medical). I now have a bachelor's degree, a good chunk of work experience and have always done VERY well (I scored 99 percentile on my ASVAB and a 1440 on the old 1600 range SAT, needless to say the recruiter was floored when I asked for Infantry). I've often felt like putting veteran background on your resume, even when it was over a decade ago now, can really hurt, what do you think? Security jobs and other "blue collar" type stuff I've done (factory work during summers in college for example) it helps, but anything white collar and career? Not so much.

denverblows1 karma

I don't put it on now, I agree with leaving it out after a while.

War_Junkie1 karma


denverblows2 karma

I knew a girl that was an Arabic translator. She got out of so much crap work because they had to keep her available

SemperFiGuy0 karma

Yut Rah Kill Motivate

denverblows0 karma

Marine corps. kill. Semper.

dboz210 karma

Good Day sir,

id first like to say thank you for serving, my question is,If your comfortable with it, can you share with us the most hectic firefight you have been in?

denverblows3 karma

I had a c130 crash into a mountain. My navy friend and I were on te radio with it. I saw it explode and then nothing but dead air. I still think of that all the time. My ex-wife's bunk mate in the marines was on it. Her name was Sgt Winters and 3 days later we got a satellite tv and her dad was on TV thinking she was captured and was asking for her release. I just saw her die a couple days before. That's the most traumatic thing I saw.

altruisticnarcissist-1 karma

Are you trained in gorilla warfare? Sorry I have a serious question too. Were you involved in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and if so what was it like? Have you seen Generation Kill and how accurate is that to real life?

denverblows5 karma

I haven't seen generation kill, but I was on the 26 Marine Expeditionary Unit. We went ashore in February of 2003 on the initial invation and "leap-frogged" with the infantry from Kuwait to Basrah (sp?) Iraq. We were the first to Saddam's airport there.

altruisticnarcissist9 karma

This might sound silly but how did you think it was going to go at the time, did anyone think it would take 9 years? Thank you for your service to America.

denverblows14 karma

No, the way the marines work (at least in my deployments) is that we go in first, secure areas, set up basic camps then leave and then other services or the guard will come in...that's why marines usally have months-long deployments while others have 1-2 years...not taking away from others, but that's how it goes. I personally thought Iraq would be over in 3 years tops.

..been a while since I heard that :) thank you.

altruisticnarcissist7 karma

It's not said enough. The military doesn't make policy and is an instrument of the elected government. Soldiers serve their country, for little pay, away from their worrying mothers, girl friends, wives, husbands and children, so thanks.

denverblows8 karma

aw they do enough...paid for college and they pay for room and board while you're in...although yea, being away from my wife and kid at the time really wasn't great, especially for her.

Brian1752 karma

Where exactly did you guys come in first and the sister services came in after?

denverblows2 karma

We ce through the coast then we didn't really know where we were as we went until bases were set up. Basically go from south up and that was our path

Helvitika3 karma

I'm not calling you a liar, but I'm confused, did they bump up the rotation for the 26th MEU? They had just returned to CONUS in fall 2002 (IIRC). I was on the 24th MEU tasked on the invasion. And, the economy wasn't bad at the time, I got a job 3 days after EOS.

denverblows2 karma

Oh wait I see what you're getting at...I was trying to answer multiple questions at once. initial invasion in Afghanistan from the 26th.. deployed after to Iraq....been a while. We leap frogged from Kuwait to Basrah, just not from the boat.

Joey_Blau1 karma

Basra no h.

denverblows1 karma

My bad. Corrected, thanks!

denverblows2 karma

The 26th MEU left for Afghanistan shortly after sept 11. We went to Afghanistan, came back the following year then in feb 2003 we went to Iraq, Iraq wasn't the meu.

I went back to Idaho, the industry for my skills was bad and areas were shutting down which is why I couldn't get a job.

blackwidow_211-4 karma

No question. I just wanted to say thank you for your service and keeping me and my family safe.

denverblows2 karma

that's always so good to hear, I hope all is well with them.

goodtwinorbadtwin-4 karma

You my friend are an American HERO. Thanks for serving our country and coming back save and alive.

denverblows6 karma

That's very nice of you...not a hero though, just did what they told me to.

Here's a secret, tell any active duty guy thanks and they'll secretly be embarrassed. Don't ask me why.

blarghusmaximus1 karma

... Because cognitive dissonance?

denverblows1 karma

Because I have no idea what to say

goodtwinorbadtwin-3 karma

my wife's ex husband is husband is active right now. And I have never said thanks to him. But I sectrely call him a loser. And a ..... never mind.. are you still active?

denverblows2 karma

haha. No, got out in July, 2003 after Iraq.

traashface-7 karma

Can you see any validity to this point?

"If someone volunteers to go kill people for the profit of corporations, I don't want then working with or for me"

Not everyone is blinded by patriotic fervor so maybe they feel you don't share their values or code of ethics.

denverblows9 karma

I think that falls under the same stereo type of someone that says, "I don't join the military because I don't take orders"...I think it's blind and somewhat uneducated. I don't see military volunteering to just "go kill people". The military is the Nation's defense. To the people that say the above, I'd tell them that military members are basically on standby for up to 8 years even after they're out to be recalled which is why there isn't a draft.

To put it shortly, we don't volunteer to kill people, we volunteer to defend something and if your morals don't meet mine, well, that's a freedom and right you have.

traashface-23 karma

What were you defending? Do you realize that we funded, trained, and idolized the taliban up until they were no longer useful? If you went to a war not on our soil you volunteered for murder. I'm glad you can't find a job I would hate for you to become a cop, teacher, fuck even make my burgers

denverblows8 karma

Well throw away your cell phone then, I make the chip inside it. And that's your right to be opinionated.

say_or_do0 karma

The right you and all enlistees past, present and future fought to protect. And well I hope he knows those bastard flew a couple god damn planes into buildings full of innocent people.

Eh, whatever. Homeboys probably just jealous playing call of duty on hardcore mode while sucking on a inhaler wishing he could be praised as much as you all. Scum sucking bastard.

denverblows0 karma

Is what it is, some people just want reactions. This made me laugh though.

someyoungman-13 karma

weird.. I have a high school education and no military background. If I send out my resume 50 times (the most I have done is 60 at once) I usually get about 10 replies... a very, very steady 1 in 10 response, if not more sometimes. The other day I sent out ten and got about four replies.. Maybe you have a bad résumé? I promise you, the economy is not that bad. Sorry you had to go to war because you cannot write :|

denverblows5 karma

Perhaps you should look into the RF and semiconductor industries at the time which were in a horrid state. I'm sorry that you don't realize resumes are specific to industries.

someyoungman-14 karma

so why invest your time and effort learning the skills/knowledge of a dying industry? again, merely a poor personal choice. When I go back to school, it will be STEM or medicine (probably medicine) and I promise you there will not be a shortage of jobs on the other end.. because I will consult bls.gov tah dahh!!

denverblows8 karma

Semiconductors are a dying industry? I'm absolutely certain of your stated education now. What do you think is in your phone? Radios? Televisions? SSD computers?

I'm an engineer with semiconductors now and my military paid for education got me there. What is it that you do, or do you "plan on stem cell" stuff?

someyoungman-9 karma

"Automation at semiconductor factories, known as fabricating plants, is expected to grow, so fewer workers will be needed in this occupation." ROBOTS TOOK YER JEEEEEEYYBB... THEY TOOK HIS JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYB!

denverblows3 karma

who do you think fixes robots? What do you think makes them run? what industry DOES NOT have decline? I wish you luck in college man, I really REALLY do.

lucidityfi-15 karma

Why do the American marines think they are heroes, even though you go to places like Iraq (now Afghanistan of course) to kill others, even the innocent. I understand you had your suspects, but what is the point in keeping up the war? You still really think it was Al-Qaeda whose fault 9/11 was? How can you be so blind? You are not protecting your country, you are attacking others, and still feel you should be regarded as a hero. Please explain me why don't Americans just pull back and go home.

denverblows9 karma

Well let me say that I never said I was a hero, I'm not. This sounds like you're accusing me of commanding everyone to go attack everywhere, which I'm not. If you want to attack my views personally, feel free but understand what they are first.