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Terry McLaughlin: Chronic Marine Syndrome

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed Nov. 6 through 14 as the inaugural Military Appreciation Week in Nevada County. Our veterans and active duty servicemen and women certainly deserve more than just one day of gratitude and acknowledgment, and a full week dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of all active duty military members, reservists, veterans, and Gold Star families in Nevada County is a good start.

Along with the Board of Supervisors, Military Appreciation Week has been created in collaboration with the Nevada County Consolidated Veterans Council, Beale Air Force Base, the city of Grass Valley, the Grass Valley Downtown Association, Sierra Harvest, the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, The Union, and the Chambers of Commerce for Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee and Penn Valley.

Many local businesses will be offering discounts and incentives to veterans. Because of this, Military Appreciation Week will not only show support and appreciation to our veterans and active military members, but will also assist in the post-COVId 19 economic recovery of our local business community.



Qualified service members should look for participating businesses, all of which will display a special window sticker and be listed on the Nevada County Veterans Services Office web page.

One of the main events to enjoy during this Military Appreciation Week is Memorial Park’s Centennial Celebration on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. One hundred years ago, on Armistice Day in 1921, Grass Valley’s Memorial Park was dedicated in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I.



Near the podium set up for the dedication in 1921 hung a scroll with the names of 457 sailors and soldiers from the Grass Valley district who had served in the Great War. The cornerstone of the monument was dedicated to the 16 men and one woman who did not return with them.

One hundred years later, Memorial Park honors our veterans of all wars, and the centennial celebration on Nov. 11 is sure to be a memorable one.

My family has a strong tradition of military service, and I am very proud that over the last four generations family members have honorably served or are currently serving in every branch of the U.S. military (except for the very new Space Force): Merchant Marine, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. I understand the dedication and sacrifice made by our servicemen and women and their families, and the gratitude which they deserve.

While thinking about how to honor our military as Veteran’s Day approaches, I stumbled upon a submission to a Marine Corp publication describing “Chronic Marine Syndrome.” Although it was written in a humorous fashion, everything about it rang true.

So in honor of the 246th birthday of the Marine Corps, and with thanks to the anonymous author, these are the symptoms of “Chronic Marine Syndrome”:

Pride in oneself and the organization they represent.

A strong willingness to put in extra attention to detail to get the job done.

May wear articles of Marine clothing — T-shirts, jackets, watches — well into their 80s.

May donate toys to needy kids at Christmas.

May wear their hair “high and tight” well into their 90s.

Will look you directly in the eye when talking to you.

Will give you a firm handshake.

Can usually be found in some type of leadership position in whatever organization they work for.

Will often regard their drill Instructors with the same respect as their parents.

Often found in either law enforcement or various leadership professions.

Are extremely thorough at what they do.

Often arrive at work earlier than expected. If they wear a shirt and tie in their job, you might see the tie clip between the third and fourth button, centered.

Has spent time training at one of three places: Quantico, Parris Island or San Diego.

May be able to field strip their rifle up to 60 years after leaving active duty.

Can recite the nomenclature of the M1, M14, or M16.

May often have their pencils sharpened to a perfect precision point.

Will not back down from a fight.

Will not hesitate to stand up or put their hand over their heart or even salute when the national anthem is played.

Does not succumb easily to political correctness.

Is sure of who they are.

Is often either respected or hated by others due to their abilities and talents.

Knows what “Honor, Courage, Commitment” mean.

Does not wear a bunch of patches to adorn their uniform. The title of Marine is sufficient.

To my Marine friends and family: Semper fi. To members and veterans of all other branches of service: Thank you for your service, dedication and sacrifice.

UPDATE: Since the submission and publication of my last column on the IRS tracking of bank accounts with $600 or more in annual transactions, some re-evaluating has occurred and this proposal has been modified. The new wording of the proposal (part of the president’s spending package currently before Congress) would mandate financial service providers to track and submit to the IRS data on accounts with annual deposits or withdrawals totaling more than $10,000. Payroll and benefit deposits would be exempted, but this amount will still affect almost every American with any type of bank or financial account, as well as every small business. It has been described as a “warrantless surveillance of U.S. bank accounts.”

Terry McLaughlin, who lives in Grass Valley, writes a twice monthly column for The Union. Write to her at terrymclaughlin2016@gmail.com.


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