A Marine to his very marrow | VailDaily.com

A Marine to his very marrow

Duncan Lindow with his mom Helen. Lindow will be commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Gypsum town hall.

GYPSUM, Colorado – It is 2 a.m. and unlike most college students, Fort Lewis College senior Duncan Lindow is getting up, not stumbling to bed.

He’ll drive about three hours from Durango to Albuquerque, N.M., where he’ll climb into a van at 5 a.m. and ride another six and a half hours to Lubbock, Texas, and Marine Corps training.

The man really wants to wear the green.

And he will.

Lindow will be commissioned a 1 p.m. Sunday as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He’ll be joined by family, friends and anyone else who wants to wish him well during the ceremony in the Gypsum Town Hall.

Lindow graduated Eagle Valley High School in 2007. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Fort Lewis College in Durango and was looking around for after-college options when he and the Marines found each other.

He applied for Marine Corps Officers Candidate School and made the first cut. He went to Quantico, Va., where the Marines looked at him and he looked at the Marines. They both liked what they saw.

“There’s a certain appeal because the Marines are so focused on traditions and history,” Lindow said. “Everything is pointed toward the highest and best actions, whether you’re with your fellow Marines or by yourself.”

Leadership is a skill set and the military instills and improves those skills in their people.

How far you take that is usually up to you, Lindow says.

Those early lessons come hard.

Officers candidate school followed boot camp, where you transition from taking orders to giving them.

Boot camp didn’t run him off, although they threw everything at him. It’s physical, as it should be, but not physically abusive, Lindow said

“They make you hurt in other ways. They’re very creative,” Lindow said.

Like the times they start counting down and everyone in the barracks has to stack their mattresses in the shower. Failure is not an option. Of course, they trash the place getting it done. Then their drill instructors, in that loving and compassionate way Marines are so famous, point out that this mess will never do, and would they clean it up right this minute, please – or words to that effect.

Occasionally they get to duck walk in a big circle while they hold their footlockers in front of them. There’s no comfortable way to duck walk and no easy way to hold their footlockers without banging their hands on the Marine’s footlocker in front of them.

So, Duncan, were there times when you wondered if it was worth it?

“Daily,” he said.

But, he quickly adds, it is. “I’ve learned so much about myself,” he said.

More Marines want to be infantry officers than anything else.

He’s not sure what he’ll be doing, but he’ll be a Marine and that’s enough.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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