If the Marine Corps Wanted You to Have a Wife, They Would Have Issued You One

 Marine Corps Marriage? -or-
If the Marine Corps Wanted You to Have a Wife, They Would Have Issued You

Dear Family and Friends, we are gathered here today in the sight of God,
and the Department of the United States Marine Corps, to witness this
exchange of vows, and see the love that these two dedicated, loving people
have for one another.

"Wilt thou, *[man]*, take *[woman]* (who was once referred as the
"dependent"), as your Family Member, to dwell together in so far as the
Marine Corps will permit?" "Wilt thou love her, comfort her via the Postal
Service or over the phone, make sure she knows where the commissary, PX,
and church are, and what time she is scheduled to use the laundry room the
DAY she arrives, wherever you are stationed?" "Wilt thou attempt to tell
her more than 24 hours in advance that you will be leaving for two weeks,
beginning the next morning? This especially applies to the years you will
live in a foreign country!"

"Wilt thou, *[woman]*, take this soldier as thy wedded husband, knowing
that he is depending upon you to be the perfect (well, almost) Marine Wife,
running the household as you see fit and being nice to the Commander's
Wife? Further, you understand that your life with your husband (little that
you may have together) will not be normal, that you may have to explain to
your children, not once, but twice, and more often in the same day, that
mothers do have husbands. This soldier is their daddy, who loves them very,
very much."

"Wilt thou love, respect and wait for him, preparing his favorite meals
when he does come home, freezing them when he doesn't, send him all his
favorite cookies and pictures of yourself and the kids, so he can remember
what you look like? And last but not least, put on the outside of your door
his "Welcome Home" sign when he's due to arrive?"

"I, *[man]*, take thee *[woman]*, as my independent wife from 1900 to 2200
hours or as long as allowed by my Commanding Officer (subject to change
without notice) For better or worse, earlier or later, near or far, and I
promise to look at the pictures you send me, maybe not when they get to me
in the field, but before I turn the lights out. I will also send a letter if
time permits, and if not, to somehow, some way, make time."

"I, *[woman]*, take thee, *[man]*, as my live-in/live-out husband,
realizing that your coming and going and 0330 staff meetings are a normal
(although absurd to me) part of your life as a soldier. I promise not to be
shocked or taken by surprise when you inform me that, although we've just
arrived at our new duty station, we will be leaving within the month. Yes,
I'll have you as my husband as long as, while you are away, my allotment
comes through regularly, and that you leave me a current power of attorney
and the checkbook at all times. I am a Family Member and proud of it,
dependent upon myself and my resources. Although I miss you when you are
away, I know I can handle whatever comes across my path."

"Now then, let no man or woman put asunder what God and the Department of
the United States Marine Corps have brought together, only for them to soon
say 'Good-bye' to one another. *[Man] *leaves for his duty assignment in
Germany tomorrow. *[Woman]* will be joining him whenever the approval
arrives. The Marine Corps hereby issues this lovely, dedicated,
independent, woman, knowing that she'll be an asset not only to your
marriage, but also to the Mission of the United States Marine Corps, which
is, as you all know, to remain in a state of 'Readiness'. By the authority
vested in the Bible, elaborated in the regulations and subject to current
directives concerning the aspects of marriage in the Marines, you are now a
Soldier with Family Member. Best Wishes and Good Luck."
-- Author unknown