CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Despite being pronounced dead after a rocket-propelled grenade attack last September in Helmand province, Marine Sgt. Robert McWilliams insists he is fine and able to train with his platoon.
"Damn grunts," said Navy Corpsman HM2 Jason Bronson. "They're either hyponchondiratic sick bay commandos or in a state of knuckle dragging denial about their health. Guess which one McWilliams is?"
Bronson was with McWilliams when their patrol came under hostile fire by the Taliban. During the gun battle McWilliams was killed when an RPG exploded directly at his feet.
"After the explosion I remember Doc telling me there was nothing he could do," McWilliams said. "I told him to quit being an pussy and give me some Motrin so I could get back in the fight."
And get back in the fight he did, his actions earning him a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, awarded posthumously. Following the battle, Sgt. McWilliams refused to be placed into a body bag and accompanied the patrol back to their base. He continued to self medicate with water and ibuprofen until his unit rotated back to the United States.
New Marines just checking in to the platoon are in awe of Sgt. McWilliams and his battlefield prowess.
"Dude, he's like a complete bad-ass warlord!" said Pfc. Wombolt, fresh from the School of Infantry. "Sure he's a little ripe, but he's a total BATTLESHIP!"
Not everyone in McWIlliams' command considers his attitude appropriate or very professional. The battalion surgeon is particularly concerned at his open defiance of medical science.
"He should be disciplined," said Navy Lt. Marvin Shane. "Not only for his blatant disregard of my authority as a Naval Medical Officer but you can't just have Marines show such contempt for the laws of medicine. What kind of example does that set for the rest of the unit?"
According to sources at the Staff Judge Advocate however, violating the laws of science are not covered under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Despite his insistence he's fine, sources within Mortuary Affairs still report Sgt. McWilliams as a combat casualty.
"Mortuary Affairs," said McWilliams. "What do those POGs know?"