|Gambling – A Most Happy Loser!
By Michael J. McCurdy
Jan 1, 2008 – 3:10:27 PM
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One month out-of-high school, I joined the Marine Corps and underwent a period of four months of intense training – three months of boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina,and one month Infantry Training at Camp Lejune, North Carolina. I was in incredible physical and mental condition. I also got an incredible education on gambling just after graduation.Upon graduation from Marine Corps Infantry Training at Camp Lejune, North Carolina, I was issued my first paycheck. I remember it being somewhere around $350.00. I was elated, as I walked into the “Rec Room” with a pocket full of money. I was 18 and no longer a boy, but a certified American Marine. The first thing I saw, as I entered the room was a pool table that was covered with a tarpaulin, with a group of older Marines shouting and screaming at something on the table. A “craps” game. I was encouraged to join in. Now, I felt really accepted. Thirty-minutes later, I was broke!
The Navy Department paid it’s Sailors and Marines every two-weeks. I sat out those two weeks with a fierce determination to win back my money, pride and manhood!
I strode up to the table, placed my bets, and within twenty-minutes I was stone broke again. I will never forget those two-weeks that I waited for another paycheck. I couldn’t even buy a 35 cent beer at the base tavern. I sat on my bunk in deep meditation and realized what a total jerk I was for being sucked in. I have never gambled since.
To the Marines who sucked me into those games, you have no idea how many times in my life I have thanked you!
An editorial in the New York Times reminds us how many people get into serious trouble gambling on state lottery’s.
“They can dress it up all they want in slogans about buying a ticket and a dream. But the states are encouraging behavior that is too often addictive and ruinous for people who can least afford it.”
If you think that you or a loved one have a problem, there is hope. Go to: www.gamblersanonymous.org.