Portrait of a Human Being
By Moriah Gallagher
I stare at the rotating circle on Skype waiting for my call to go through. When Randall Watson finally does pick up I don't see a threatening Marine I see a girl wrapped in a blanket in what looks more like a college dorm than a military barracks. Her walls a littered with posters of bands and the singing of her roommate can be heard in the background. Randall, a 21 year old from New York, has been in the marines for nearly two years, in which time she has gone through more than the average twenty something does in a decade, from joining the marines, to moving to a different country, and dealing with personal lose. Randall has agreed to share some of her wisdom she has acquired in the past few years.
M: Who is the most important person in your life?
R: Sargent Mccafy is a sergeant in my platoon, he’s actually my sergeant right now, and uhh when I was in a really, really, tough spot in my life he was the only one who, uhh, was there for me when my significant other wasn’t. He was there quite a bit. So I really appreciate him. He was the nicest person thats ever…he's the person who has treated me the nicest in my entire life I wanna say. He's never mad at me for anything, he's always a really good listener, he always talks to me and never treats me any different and I really appreciate that.
M: Whats the happiest and saddest moments in your life?
R: The happiest moment in my life…thats a really hard one. It’s always really hard to remember the happiest things in your life. I can tell you about the sad one but… It’s easy, right when you said that. Of course I know what the saddest one is. The saddest one is when I lost my fiancé. That was extremely devastating for me. The happiest part of my life is when me and my significant other went to the hilton off base outside in A-vil. It was just built this past summer. Its brand new and everything was gorgeous. We had an amazing time. It was only three nights and four days but we went to the pool every day. I remember jumping over the fence to the pool to go to the beach because the beach was right on the other side, and he was hesitant to follow me. I just thought it was kinda funny and kinda cute because I guess I’m kinda like the wild rambunctious one, i’m not afraid to anything, i’m jumping over fences. (laughs) And it was funny just to see him on the other side like “what are you doing?” (laughs) Umm, also, it was pretty funny that at the end when we got our bill it came out to a little over $2,000. And me and him just looked at each other like “how did we let this happen?” We didn't think it was gonna be this much. We had mistaken what the retail owner, the person behind the desk, had said. We had thought it was gonna be $600 dollars the entire weekend and it ended up being $600 dollars a night! (laughs) And including food and whenever we had to get the towels washed and so everything added up. It was really nice because we didn't get mad at each other. It was like “ya know that was deffo worth it.” That was the most relaxing, most fun weekend we ever had. It was deffo worth it. So, it meant a lot to me.
M: Who has influenced you the most?
R: I wanna say the battalion as a whole. The battalion consist of 500 marines and I wanna put them all together and not single them out because I have seen every one of them work, except for the new ones I haven't known them yet, but you learn a lot about people when you enlist. You meet people from different parts of the country and everyone has a little bit of something to give to you. Everyone is different, everyone has different characteristics. They definitely influenced me a lot.
M: What is the most important lesson learned in your life?
R: The most important lessons I’ve learned in my life?…I think one of them is to be happy no matter what the cost is, find you happiness, because if you putting all you eggs in one basket, in one person, they’re going to disappoint you. So don't try to find your meaning of living in another human being. Put it into yourself. Find things that you like to do, find things that make you happy, and keep going with it even if it kills you.
M: Are there any funny stories you remember from your childhood?
R: When I was a little girl I told my mother I was going to go up this hill with a friend just for a walk. Well, I ended up taking a huge adventure over the river right in front of our house and up a huge hill and into the woods. I went to this lady’s house. We called her the Shewolf. And I was gone for hours and I came back and the cops were in the front yard waiting for me to return. Everyone was freaking out, didn't know where I was. I think that’s funny. We all laugh about that now. I’m always running off doing something crazy and stupid.
M: What are you most proud of?
R: Having the courage to do what I want to do instead of doing what my family want me to do, so breaking the mold. I’m defiantly proud of breaking the mold and being headstrong and just doing what I wanna do and letting no else influence me. I have to find out the hard way, ya know? At least now I know on my own and not from someone else mouth, and I know I don’t like it.
M: If you could only hold on to one memory what would it be?
R: Flying. I love to fly. I used to fly 152 cessnas and 172 cessnas. The feeling of being above everything even the world makes you feel like your free and I love that feeling, not being bound to anything, It’s a good feeling.
M: How is your life different from what you imagined?
R: Well I defiantly thought I’d like The United States Marine Corps. I thought I’d make this a career. I defiantly thought I was going to fight some wars but thats not how it is in garrison. In garrison you get played with, you get fuck-fuck games, you get toyed with, you get treated like shit. You’re nobody here. It’s very demeaning. I defiantly didn't think that was how it was gonna pan out. I thought I was gonna become that magical war hero that everyone thinks they're gonna become when they enlist. It’s not how it works.
M: Do you have any regrets?
R: Yes, I have plenty regrets, lots and lots and lots of them. I make mistakes everyday and I wish I could say i’ve learned from all of them but I have a feeling that even if I make it to eighty i’ll still be making mistakes. I’ll still regret them. You just gotta live with it I guess.
M: What does you future hold?
R: I don’t know. I have no idea and I guess thats kinda exciting that I don't know what my futures gonna hold but at the same time thats pretty scary. I really have no clue.
Audio from this conversation available here!
Audio from this conversation available here!