Once a Marine, Always a Marine

Doug Behrens

Doug Behrens

Josh Rollo, Reporter

From teacher to coach, and coach to father, government and Oklahoma history teacher Doug Behrens has held many titles, but none compares to who he was and always will be – a U.S. Marine.

“I’ve always heard the Marines were the best, and I wanted to be the best,” he says. “I would say that in everyone’s life, there are one or two things that shape who you are; the Marine Corps is who I am today. I don’t know where I’d be without it.”

Before the Gulf War, induced by Iraq invading Kuwait in August 1990, Behrens was on his fifth deployment.

“We were in the Mediterranean and our main base was in Turkey; from there, we sailed to Iraq,” he says. “It was after New Year [1991] when we were in the Gulf War.

“Most of the fighting was done with tanks and planes; we were just the infantry. After the bombing of Kuwait, we took prisoners and, due to low supply of resources, we just made sure they were unarmed and let them walk.”

              When it comes to facing struggles, Behrens, who coaches football and track, could be considered an expert.

“In the Marines, they take away the individual,” says Behrens, referring to the service’s emphasis on the teamwork. “Really, it wasn’t the physical struggle; it was the mental struggle. Physically, it’s not that hard if you’re in shape; mentally, you’ve never been called so many colorful names.

Behrens participated in high school athletics, so he was accustomed to the stress of having people yell at him.

“You got to realize the training is not that long,” he says. “You’re so dang busy; you can’t really dwell in it.”

After leaving the Marines, he went back to college, “got an education degree and decided to coach football,” says Behrens, who was at Broken Arrow before joining the Bixby Spartans. “Football is like the Marines, but without guns.”