Updated: May 1
Not too long ago we put up a couple of Instagram posts talking about what we did before we went sailing. Those two posts sparked a bunch of interest so I thought it would be cool to do a post about that subject on here! We will do two, one for me and one for Jeremiah. Let’s start with him.
Jeremiah was born in Maryland outside of Annapolis, that’s where he grew up. He was on his own at a pretty young age which caused him to become very independent.
He ended up running with some pretty good guys, they all worked at a local Dominos pizza. No drugs or anything like that, although they liked to hang out on the weekends and drink beers. It was during one of these gatherings in 1994 when a friend mentioned he had been thinking of joining the Navy. Jeremiah, bored with the job and ready to try something new, jumped right onboard and suggested they serve together. They both agreed to go see the local recruiter the next day.
The next morning, Jeremiah got up and called his friend. When asked if he was still going to the recruiting office, his friend mentioned that his father had advised him against it so he was going to wait. Jeremiah hung up the phone, a little disappointed but still motivated to see what options were available. He drove to the recruiting office located in a larger city in Maryland. He walked through the front door of the building which housed an office for each of the 4 branches of service. He walked to the back and right into the Navy office. He looked around but there wasn’t anyone in sight. Right as he was about to leave, a gentlemen in a Navy uniform walked out of the back and asked if he could help. Right then, between already deciding to leave and the initial appearance of the slightly overweight gentlemen, Jeremiah made the call that this wasn’t for him and politely said “No, thank you” and left.
On the way out of the building and while walking by an open door, Jeremiah glanced in as he passed. The image has always been imprinted in his mind, I’ve heard it many times. A man in a tan uniform sitting at his desk, stripes on his strong arms, ribbons across his left chest….Flash. It was that quick. Then Jeremiah heard “Excuse me” come from inside the room. Jeremiah stopped, backed up and made the decision right there. Inside his mind he instantly realized that he had had always wanted to be a U.S. Marine. When the Marine asked him if he could help, Jeremiah answered with “Yes, I’d like to join the Marine Corps”.
Jeremiah’s early teenage years were spent living with his Grandparents who were like a Mother and Father to him. His Grandfather was a veteran, he had served as an ARMY officer in WW2 and his Grandmother had an entire lifetime of service. She was the daughter of a Navy Admiral, she was in the mix for most of her young life…Dinners at the White House, she would play at “Uncle Nimitz” house (that’s what she called Admiral Nimitz who was a close friend of the family, etc)….Jeremiah grew up hearing the stories. He respected the situation but wasn’t ever really spoken to about actually serving or anything. He just was himself…OCD in every way. His Grandmother mentioned at times that she thought he’d be a good Marine…Mentioning items such as how he’d make sure his hangers in the closet were all facing the same way and evenly spaced and others.
Fast forward a few years and there he was, now sitting in the Marine Corps recruiting office. He had decided and was ready to join. It wouldn’t be that simple however, the Marine Corps didn’t accept non-graduates. He’d have to graduate. Determined, (once he decides to do something, it happens no matter what) he went home and enrolled in night school. He earned his diploma and went right back in to the recruiting office to join. It was only a few months later when he stepped on the Yellow Footprints aboard Parris Island, SC, a painted set of yellow footprints where all Marines begin their training to become a U.S. Marine. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, Mike Company where he went through training to become a U.S. Marine. It was during this training while undergoing history of the Marine Corps that he began hearing some familiar names…Such as Admiral Nimitz.
After he graduated recruit training, with his Grandparents attending of course, he sat down with his Grandmother and asked her to refresh him on some of those stories from her earlier days. He thought it was really cool to put it all together. He really was meant for the Marines, she knew it. He just had to find it for himself, I guess.
Fast forward 26 years, several deployments, multiple combat deployments, 2 wives (you do know that the Marine Corps issues you the first wife, right?), 5 children and a fabulously successful career, he retired on MCAS Miramar, CA in front of a F/A-18 Hornet and his closest family members and friends. It was the end of a career but a start on a new adventure, I’m sure his Grandmother, who was a Navy girl at heart, would love to know that her “6th son” had finally become a sailor as well.