Marco  Martinez

4. Human Experiment Pictures

I still can’t shake the pictures out of my head. We discovered them inside a strange laboratory we found inside a Special Republican Guard barracks that had been plunked down inside an amusement park. When I cracked open the photo album, my jaw dropped. There in front of me were the most horrifying images of experiments being performed on newborn and infant children. Picture after picture, page after page, the binder was filled with the most extreme deformities and experimental mutations one could imagine. One baby had an eye that was shifted toward the middle of its head. We turned the books over to our lieutenant as valuable pieces of intelligence.

5. Bomb-Making Materials In a Mosque

Well after the invasion we were tasked to conduct city patrols and build rapport with local sheiks and mosque members. On one occasion we revisited a mosque where the sheik had previously been warm and friendly. Yet this time something seemed a little off. As we made our way through the mosque compound, we were told there were certain "praying houses" we weren’t allowed to enter. But when a Marine walked through a side hallway and passed by a door that had been left ajar, he spotted a huge bottle of nitroglycerin and assorted bomb-making materials.

When I think about my gang member past I shudder in shame. But if there was one lesson I learned from my past it is that there is a profound moral difference between using violence to destroy lives and using violence to save lives. Terrorists do the former; soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines do the latter.

Antimilitary liberals need to learn the difference between the two.


Marco Martinez

Marco Martinez, a recipient of the Navy Cross, is author of the new book Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero (Crown Forum).