By Tom Ilges

Tom Ilges delivers a hard-hitting but very timely perspective on anger management at each of our FOCUS sessions. The “Marine in your pocket” talk is something that we all need to take with us daily. We all need to understand that once we leave Focus is when the true challenges will present themselves and that is when it is paramount that we remember those lessons and rise above our issues.

After decades of living with anger issues I have come to some conclusions:

1. Anger is a formidable enemy (work of a lifetime ).

2. Anger deceives (you think you have resolved a situation).

3. You need to have constant insight of what anger really is. ie; anxiety, impatience, frustration, misunderstanding, perceived injustices all intersecting in your being causing a moment of destruction.

4. Alcohol or drugs will not arrest anger, but will actually perpetuate it by trapping us in an ever spinning cycle of anger, then remorse, then guilt then anger then seeking relief with false remedies.

The truth is, you will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger, and all those close to you will feel its wrath and destructive nature. Anger is truly a short madness, and often one doesn’t remember what they were so angry about. Anger is not a valid reaction, but an action that perpetuates more reaction.

You are warriors and anger and rage are your enemy standing in the way of your life being happier and more complete. Take this enemy on with every fiber of your being because you must own this battlefield or go down in defeat. Disrespect anger, diminish it to irrelevance in your heart and soul. Bury it with understanding and love of those you cherish and your own self worth.

A moment of anger can destroy a lifetime of work, whereas a moment of love can break barriers that took a lifetime to build. Learn to hesitate the instant the enemy of anger tries to take everything away from you. That moment will give you worth, strength, understanding and a victory that will be life changing. It will take willpower but it is worth it. Stop defeating yourself.

You have been through the chaos and have seen the worst that war has to offer so you deserve to have some peace in your soul with happy days ahead. But anger is not the road you should be taking to a brighter future, it is the road to a bitter end.

In your young lives you have already been three of the best things you can be… by birthright or naturalization an American citizen; by choice a patriot; and by courage a United States Marine, Navy Corpsman or warrior from our other services. Stay proud, stay resolute, live with Honor, Courage and Commitment for those who gave all and will no longer get a chance at a sweet life in the greatest experiment of freedom in the world, The United States of America. The very nation you defended with your life. DO NOT let anyone diminish your worth, to you, your loved ones, to your nation, or to your Focus Marines family. This nation needs you, now more than ever.

Keep the Marine in Your Pocket and when you see another human being in distress or there is a threat to you or your loved ones your Marine will be out in an instant. Then, and only then, is it honorable to let the Marine out.