It all started on Saturday. I was out with my best mate Paul. We went to the homecoming of the London Regiment Royal Marines. It didn’t feel like a normal homecoming, it felt tense. Anyway it was amazing, the drummers; didn’t flinch as they swung the sticks close to their noses. They all looked synchronized as the played as one, their stride length, they looked like they have been programmed, like robots. The Marines had mixed emotions. Some of them looked as if they wanted to have a emotional breakdown or they had pride in every step. You could see in the serving and the veterans how much pride they had in wearing the Royal Marine cap badge.
“Danny Sherran, don’t even bother. You should just give up on being a bootneck” Mr.Jones told me looking down at me. Mr.Jones is around 6’3″ tall with a bushy beard. I know he was a Royal Marine, but no one knows where he served with or what he did. I was told by a year 11 that sir was captured and tortured by some extremist group. But I didn’t want to ask Mr.Jones. But what happened apparently changed him according to Uncle Des- someone who served with dad and he’s been here to help mum.
“Don’t listen to him Danny! Leave him alone Jonsey, he’s only a kid” Mr.Lincoln ordered Mr.Jones. They walk away and started to argue. Mr.Lincoln is much shorter than Mr.Jones. In school Mr.Lincoln is different, normally he’s unaware of whats happening in class. Today he’s aware of everything. He even looks smarter than usual. ‘Where have I heard Jonsey before’, I think to myself.
“Where have I heard Jonsey before and why have I heard it?” I tell Paul. Just as Paul is about to answer, I hear a familiar voice. “He’s only stressed out from what happened in 2020. He doesn’t mean to pick on you” Mr.Prescott tells me. Mr.Prescott is a veteran in the RM band, as a bugler. He’s around 5’11” with a clean cut beard. He’s also got a tattoo with “Sedio Regina: et pro Patria”. Mr.Prescott isn’t the only person with that tattoo, Uncle Des, Mr.Jones, Mr.Lincoln and Dad. Were they all in the company or on the same mission?
“What does Sedio Regina: et Pro Patria mean why do you and the teachers at school have it” I ask Des. Des looks at me looking angry and replies “I made a promise and I’m not allowed to tell you”. I do not bother in asking anything else. Instead I go to my room and practice my drumming, but it still bugging me. ‘Why do they all have the same tattoo. Were they all in the same unit. What happened in 2020?’ I think to myself.
For the next couple of days I carry on thinking about that tattoo and where have I heard Jonsey. It becomes unbearable so I decide to confront Mr.Jones. “What is your problem?! Why do you make me feel bad and always pick on me? Can’t you just let me be myself.” I ask sir. ” I knew your dad. I served with him. I was there when your father died. I do not want you to put your mum and family through the pain again if you join the Marines” Mr.Jones tells me. That’s when it hits me, I always knew dad died on deployment. I was never told what happened. It was like we aren’t going to tell Danny. “What’s the reason for the teachers with the same tattoo and so many Royal Marines in one school” I ask Mr.Jones. “We are here to protect you because, some people want to harm you in revenge at your father” Sir replies. Then he lifts up his right blazer side revealing his Sig Sauer P226