From the Archive: You're Gonna Need a Bigger Crew
“Resolved, That two Battalions of marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; and that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken, that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress: that they be distinguished by the names of the first and second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.” -Journal of the Continental Congress, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colony, 10 November 1775
And thus was born a 240-year-old tradition of ass-kickery known today as the United States Marine Corps.
In the spirit of today, we present this tale from a few months ago in Hewitt where a descendant of this tradition, former Marine Eric Walters, was trying to live a quiet, relatively blameless life.
29 September 2015, Hewitt, Texas
Instead of allowing said former Teufelshund to sleep peacefully, four little bast…four gentlemen decided to summon him to the door of his home at a very early hour with the intention of relieving him of his excess cash, and portable electronics.
Chris Barrientos and three underaged accomplices were in for a rude awakening of their own. Mr. Walters (former rank unavailable), reacting as any sane person would to an unanticipated knock on the door in the middle of the night, armed himself before he went to investigate.
Opening the door, he found the four little shi…intruders, who attempted to rush the door. Walters was able to secure the hatch and fired through the closed door.
Nobody was harmed, but maybe the brush with death has set the as…sailants on the straight and narrow.
But We doubt it.
As to what the Leatherneck did right/wrong, well…
1. He armed himself before investigating the unannounced houseguests. This was correct.
2. He opened the door to strangers. Good initiative, bad judgement, Devil. A closed, locked door is a great deterrent to a home invasion. It makes your assailants have to work and buys you time to escape, barricade, or opt to defend (based on your local jurisdiction, personal inclination, and home construction).
NEVER open the door.
3. He recognized the threat and immediately re-secured the hatch. This was correct.
4. He shot at the perps, through the door, and missed. Barring the door being glass or the perps already being part-way through it, this was so far from correct that correctness appears as a speck on out pale blue dot of a planet. “BE AWARE OF YOUR BULLET, YOUR TARGET, YOUR BACKSTOP, AND BEYOND”.
Shooting blindly through a door means that you are unaware of our target or anything beyond it. If at all possible, DO NOT DO THIS.
All totaled, though, this Marine did a good job. He defended himself and drove off his assailants.
William Joyner is a retired Marine living and teaching in San Antonio.
Happy Birthday, Marines!
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