Marine Reflections

Service Reflections of Capt Bill Darrow, U.S. Marine Corps (1963-1983)

Service Reflections of Capt Bill Darrow, U.S. Marine Corps (1963-1983)

Both my parents were in the Navy during WWII. My Mother was one of the first WAVES, and my Dad was a POW at Bataan and an officer in the Navy. I have three brothers who were all in the Navy during the Korean War. During my grade school years, I attended Peekskill Military Academy in NY and was further schooled at home with Calvert School. I graduated from High School in Belvidere, NJ.
At 17, I briefly attended a Business School in Pennsylvania but soon got bored. Then, I decided to join the Navy and carry on the family tradition. There was a long narrow hallway in the post office where the recruiters were located, with the Navy recruiter on my right and the Marine Corps recruiter on my left. I stood in the hall between the two offices. Turning to my right to go into the Navy recruiting office, I noticed that the Navy Chief was wearing a soiled uniform. Next to him was a coffee pot that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the Spanish American War. He was overweight and didn’t seem to be too interested in the young man beginning to enter his office. Just before I walked into that somewhat messy office, I heard someone with a deep, commanding voice speak to someone else he called Corporal. I turned and saw the most chiseled-faced, lean man with a very short neat haircut and wearing a shirt with creases in it that could cut your finger on. I couldn’t help but stare at the very clean office with posters of fighting men, jets, carved Marine Corps logos, and an NCO sword hung neatly on the wall. Another man with fewer stripes on his shirt walked across the office

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Service Reflections of SSgt Walter Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1997)

Service Reflections of SSgt Walter Rivera, U.S. Marine Corps (1981-1997)

I come from a military family on both sides-mom & dad. Uncles that served in the Navy [Korea], Army [Vietnam]; 3 cousins in the Navy [Cold War], Army Nat’l Guard [Cold War], Army [GWOT]. My God-Mothers son is a Marine Veteran [Vietnam era], and my dad went to Army boot camp but got seriously injured; he couldn’t finish. In high school, I joined the Marine J.R.O.T.C. Program. For me, it was a natural thing to do. I actually joined USMC at age 9. I believed it was my destiny-to serve in the military of the greatest country on the face of the earth!

By the time I reached the 5th grade and into the 6th grade, I had read World Book Encyclopedia from AZ (with the help of Mr. James Hickey, my 5th-grade teacher), who taught us to do something we’d never done before, and I did!

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