Is there possibly a manlier thing than to be a
United States Marine???
Why yes, there is! There are Marines in kilts!
Okay, you’re probably already wondering what the heck this is about, so I’ll cut right to the chase. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and a couple of public safety bloggers started this non-profit to raise awareness (and funds) about male-specific cancers.
– 1 in 7 –
That’s the number of men who will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. That means if you look at your father, grandfather, uncle, brother, nephew, your son, of even yourself, at least one of you is likely to be diagnosed with it. Your brothers in your platoon, your company, your battalion, all the way up to the CMC and Chesty Puller himself (wherever he is), you’re all at risk… granted it’s (usually, but not always) the 40 and over crowd, but the majority of you aren’t so far away as you think. Most of you will end your careers just before you turn 40, and then what? You’ll get up settled in to whatever you want to do after the mainstream Corps life just to get kicked back down by cancer? Let’s not stop there. 1 in 263 men will be diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, and that is not an old man’s disease. That diagnosis usually comes right in the prime of your life!
– Talk About Privates –
The University of Science, Music, and Culture (U.S.M.C.) is a worldwide organization that is dependent upon healthy men, and they should step up to the plate and make it clear that it’s okay to talk about the privates (and I don’t mean the non-rates!).
Honestly, I don’t know why, but this sort of thing gets pushed aside except when it comes to a dick-measuring contest, then we’re all-in for talking about it. Accept reality… your anatomy plays a significant part in your overall self-image. No, your manhood probably won’t turn green and fall off, but you might experience frequent urination, difficulty urinating (it comes out just a little at a time and it doesn’t happen easily), blood in the urine, hip and back pain, weakness and/or numbness in the legs and feet, and even erectile dysfunction.
– Take Initiative –
It falls squarely on the shoulders of leadership. NCO’s (including you Terminal Lance’s 🙂 and up should be initiating the conversations. Face it, the non-rates are generally just learning about being a real man. They make goofy decisions, have short attention spans, and are trying to live larger than life with no thought to the consequences they’ll reap later on. I sure hope you’re not going to hope and wait for your Corpsman to bring it up.
Wear a kilt! No, you don’t have to be Scottish or Irish. I got my kilt before I had done some homework and determined just how much Scottish and Irish I have in my lineage. Did you know that the Marine Corps has an official Scottish tartan? The Leatherneck tartan is carried by a lot of kiltmakers and retailers. I got my own (pictured above) at Sport Kilt, as part of a special Marine Corps package, which included the sporran (belt pouch) and kilt pin. You can also find them at Stillwater Kilts and Atlanta Kilts. My son (born on November 10th, by the way) has a kid’s kilt in the Leatherneck tartan too and it was only about $20 shipped. These are generally mass-produced and good for everyday wear, and they would probably suffice for wearing to Marine Corps Balls (no pun intended). If you are looking for something a la Steampunk or Utility style, then may I suggest Alt.Kilt? They are a custom kiltmaker and they can do leatherwork and embroidery. Browse around their site and you’ll see why kilts for cancer awareness is a very special subject for them. If you desire a more formal approach, you can get the full, heavy wool kilt from a few places, or get the fabric and have one made for you. Kiltmakers are easy to find online. There are tartans for other branches too, but they’re apparently nowhere near as popular and no one offers a whole kilt package to go with that.
Mustaches are governed by regs anyway, and no one asks why you are wearing a mustache, but I’ve literally been asked why I’m wearing a kilt over a hundred times. It’s a conversation starter. Besides, Dunk Your Mustache just isn’t the same as Dunk Your Junk, which also beats an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge any day of the week and twice on Sunday!
Raise funds for research! We can’t put an end to these cancerous monstrosities in traditional Marine Corps fashion, with an all-out assault, so we have to adapt to overcome! We can do that with research, but R&D requires funding. Invest in your future and your brothers’ too. You can learn more by exploring my blog, then heading over to the Kilted To Kick Cancer website for more information and to donate. I’d sure like it if when you donate, you would put “Team Unwired Medic” in the comments or choose it from the team drop-down so we can conquer the other non-Marine teams, but even if you don’t, I sincerely thank you. You can also find Kilted To Kick Cancer patches, t-shirts, and polo shirts on the site, and your donations should be tax-deductible, to an organization that does not use your donations to pay salaries to the board. The lion’s share of funds pay for research and a tiny bit goes to overhead.
– Take Responsibility –
The most important thing you can do is to get your mean, green butt in to the doc for your annual check-up. Man up! Turn your head and cough! Bend over and grab your ankles! Take one for the Corps! Get your blood draw to check for markers that can show you are at higher risk for Prostate Cancer, like your PSA and your blood counts.
Do a self-exam at least monthly. You’re in the shower, the water is hot, the higher temps cause your scrotum to relax, and it makes it much easier to execute your mandatory hygiene procedures, and to roll your testicles between your fingers and check for lumps that don’t belong there. It’s even better when your best lady is there to help you out.
If you experience the symptoms I mentioned above, get in to see the doc right away. Do NOT put it off! When caught early, male-specific cancers are almost always easily defeated. ASSESS, ASSAULT, and CLAIM VICTORY! No long, protracted battles with the need for logistical support are necessary. That’s the Army’s job anyway.
– Conclusion –
You now know how to act, so it is your responsibility to do it!
You know the definition of Semper Fidelis. What you may have forgotten is that to be faithful to your brethren and your beloved Corps, you need to be faithful to yourself first.
– References and Disclaimers –
All of my statistics are from the American Cancer Society from September 2014 & September 2015. www.cancer.org
I have no conflicts of interest here and receive no consideration or compensation for links provided to any other site, manufacturer, or merchant. I wouldn’t mind if you said “The Unwired Medic” referred you, but I will get nothing in return. If you opt to donate with “Team Unwired Medic”, you would be helping me to beat the kilts off the competing teams, and there are prize packages awarded to the top teams, but I’m more interested in seeing Marines win and in beating cancer, which has already affected my life and the lives of many of my friends and family.
— Semper fidelis
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