By Charlie Johnston
As a young man, I was part of what many consider to be the greatest brotherhood of all, the United States Marine Corps. Today, I am part of another great brotherhood, that of electrical line workers. Over my 45 years as a lineworker, I have found that there are many things these two brotherhoods have in common.
They have pride. Marines and lineworkers have pride in what they do, who they are, meeting any challenge and doing something only a few can do.
They have a can-do attitude. Marines have a saying: “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.” Lineworkers feel the same way.
They are ingenious. Marines and lineworkers are known for making do with what they have and improvising as they go.
They are misunderstood at times. Marines and lineworkers are referred to as “a different breed of cat.” They embrace that.
They rise to the occasion. They are at their best when things are at their worst.
They are diverse. Marines and lineworkers can come from many backgrounds, in all shapes and sizes, but their common goals and experiences bond them together as one.
They are their brother’s keeper. It may be overly dramatic and a bit of a cliché to say that they would die for one another, but this much is true: they put their lives into each other’s hands.
It’s these shared conditions and hardships that bind both groups together with an almost us-against-the-world attitude. To me, it’s these things that are the difference between just being part of a group and being part of a brotherhood.
I am proud to have spent most of my life as a part of these two great brotherhoods, to know that I was making a difference, and all the while, to do something that I loved.