I joined the Marines to see the world and escape Redding, California – unfortunately, they only showed me bootcamp in San Diego, California – Marine Combat Training in San Onofre, Californi – Air Traffic Control School in Millington Tennessee – and then they shuffled me to Jacksonville, North Carolina. The good news is I never had to go to war but the bad news was that the places they showed me were worse than the places I was trying to get away from. I was in Jacksonville for a nearly three and a half years. I was posted at the New River Air Station as an Air Traffic Controller. I achieved the rank of Sergeant, the positions of Supervisor, Trainer, and Crew Chief, and while I was stuck in the anus of North Carolina – I had the opportunity to explore what is otherwise, a pretty beautiful state. North Carolina has the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Outer Banks, Asheville, Boone, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Wilmington, and much more – but Jacksonville had nothing but shitty strip bars, too many Marines, and the people who relied on them for an economy. I can recommend nothing about Jacksonville, North Carolina except not going there. Since I was nineteen but allowed to drink on the base, I didn’t have a life off the base, and there was virtually nothing to do on the base – I developed a fairly severe drinking problem. The reason nineteen year olds aren’t allowed to drink in society is because they aren’t old enough to do it responsibly – so thank you, Uncle Sam, for giving me a way to waste all my money, destroy my health, and not deal with life while I was stuck in a shithole.
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Jacksonville has a population of approximately 70,000 – the average age is 22.8 years which is because of the tens of thousands of Marines based at Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, and nearby Cherry Point.