Sea Stories

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About the author:
About the Author

Tom Spence is a retired Marine Corps officer. He has worked as an independent trainer and consultant, an addictions treatment counselor, and as a newspaper manager. He is an ordained minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and is the pastor of the church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

He is husband, father, and grandfather and returned to live in his native Oklahoma in 1999.

Tom publishes hundreds of articles online each year as a freelance author, including three blogs and when so inclined, the local paper.


During my time in the Corps, I was privileged to serve in all four Divisions to include an assignment as Inspector-Instructor in the 4th Marine Division.

I served in the 4th Marine Regiment, 6th Marine Regiment, 7th Marine Regiment, and the 9th Marine Regiment.

I began my career in the Fleet Marine Force as a Second Lieutenant platoon commander with the 3rtd Battalion, 4th Marines and served my last tour with a combat unit as the Executive Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines.

Along the way, I have been stationed in:

Quantico, Virginia*
Okinawa, Japan*
Parris Island, South Carolina
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Des Moines, Iowa
UNIKOM, Iraq and Kuwait
Camp Pendleton, California
Orlando, Florida

*More than once

I enjoyed much time afloat and at the Marine Corps Desert Resort known as 29 Palms, California. I have seen places around the world that I might not have otherwise ever set foot upon.

Other Titles by Tom Spence


PoMo Poverty: Finding Abundance in the 21st Century

Throw Away Kids: Are we concerned enough to get involved?

God Loves You

Heaven and Hell: Why some people can't get off the subject and on with living

Technology Acquisition & Front End Analysis for the Small Church

ReBaselining America: Setting a foundation of liberty for the next 200 years

Christianity for Marines

Forced Confessions


Even the Elect

First Steps Towards Eternity

Tough Day at the Plate


9 Encounters of John 9: A Play in 3 Acts

Ten Talents: A Play in 3 Acts

Clipboard Christmas Skits

Going Up? An Antiphonal Monologue

Salt of the Earth

Got Oil?

The Conversation

Deeper Thoughts



Life Skills Education

The Profanity Problem: And what to do about it

Acceptance of Authority: Returning to the boundaries of law and ethics

Wit and Wisdom Workouts

The Best of Out of the Box

Sea Stories

Authored by Tom Spence

Tell it to the Marines

In 1664, King Charles II had been told strange stories of fish that could fly. Before dismissing this story, he summoned an officer of the Royal Marines to his court and the officer verified the existence of such creatures. The king then declared that in all such matters, these stories should be told to the Marines as they have surely been everywhere and seen everything.

Since that time Marines have heard some tall tales, verified as many as they have dismissed, and told quite a few of their own. When it's a Marine's turn to tell an unusual tale, it's generally called a sea story. Sea stories distinguish themselves from the ordinary yarn by two basic characteristics. First they are told either by a Marine or a Sailor. Second, their veracity is introduced as incontestable by use of a colorful Aristotelian metaphor, with emphasis on the colorful. Sea stories encompass every variety of experience from stories in a combat zone to events in the home, but are usually marked by humor or an unusual insight. The sea story is a right of passage for a Marine. Enlistment, boot camp, and graduation are all significant events for a young man or woman, but these new Marines know they have joined an elite club when they tell their first sea story.

Sea stories sometimes contain what euphemistically might be called colorful language. These stories are told in the full spirit of the events described without most of this language but with the full sea-going color you would expect from a Marine. I hope you will enjoy them.

Publication Date:
1505462533 / 9781505462531
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Military

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