Calling all jarheads

Dateline: Sun 04 Nov 2007

For the record, the real issue for the Dems and mayoral candidate Greg Ballard is not the use of the term jarhead. It's that Dems, in the eyes of Republcans, Ballard people and/or veterans, have discounted Ballard's 23 years of experience as a field officer -- Lt. Col. -- in the Marine Corps. That, and the fact that he did not vote in the last municipal election.

As for Mike O'Connor's alleged remark about ripping the lid off that jarhead, the aging Marine I live with is not insulted. Jarhead, he says, is what Marines call one another, an in-house term designating, if not affection, then acceptance. It's the brotherhood thing.

As for its meaning, depends on which legend you are listening to. Among them: it refers to the Marine hair cut, with whitewalls and that fuzz on top, which to some looks like a jarhead. It also may come from World War II, when the Mason Jar Co. may have stopped making its lids in order to use the material for helmets for Marines. Finally, it may date back to the days when mules were called jughead or possibly jarhead -- this I never knew, But everyone know mules are a hard case -- stubborn as a mule. Suppodedly, new Marines who are especially difficult to train are called jarhead. Not with affection, I would guess.

Anyhow, nobody in the corps insulted by that. They've got other things to worry about. Like the war in Iraq, Dick Cheney's agenda, the upcoming birthday anniversary of the corps Nov. 11, 1775, etc. With 232 years int he past, what's a jarhead crack now and then?

For all you ever wanted to know about jarheads, go to:


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