Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — My journey to the Marine Corps started when I was young. My parents raised me to do the right thing and help those that need help. I never fully embraced that until I became a Marine. I left for recruit training as a 17-year-old boy and was returned to my family as a young man, U.S. Marine, and forever grateful.
I decided on the Marines over the other military branches because everyone told me I wouldn’t make it. I needed to know I could do it. My parents didn’t want me to do it, which made me want to do it even more. I wasn’t ready for college and couldn’t decide what to do with my life after high school. The military made sense to me. It provided me with the challenge I needed and after four years I would have money for college and the experience of a lifetime. And that’s exactly what I did.
Once I returned home I was working at Delphi in Lockport and trying to go to college on line. I was one of the lucky veterans to get employment after leaving the military. Unfortunately I was bored. I enjoyed being home, but home had changed. I missed being a Marine. You develop a bond like no other with your brothers and sisters in arms. You feel responsible for the person to your left and right and sometimes their lives depend on you doing your job.
I received word around Christmas 2006 that two of my Marines were hurt in Iraq. There is always that possibility that it could happen but I felt responsible. I kept thinking back trying to remember if I taught my Marines all I could before I left. It took me a couple of months but I knew I had to do something. And that’s when I decided to return.