With a name like Marine, it sounds like a foregone conclusion what Richard Marine would be, but it wasn't easy. He was sitting in his seat on the bus going to boot camp at Parris Island when the drill instructor came on the bus.
“He was going through the checklist of names, “Richard recalled. “And he stopped and said, ‘I don’t believe this. You know who you are, stand up.’ And I assumed he was speaking to me because of my last name, which was correct. From that point forward, I had a certain level of special attention in order to earn the title Marine.”
After graduating boot camp at Parris Island in the summer of 1969, it was on to 10 weeks of infantry training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
“Everything I learned in the Marine Corps I was able to apply in life. I said life was wonderful and that's really the truth because we raised our kids, established our roots in the community, and got involved with a lot of things that were fun and fulfilling, and here we are. Despite what I consider to be myriad benefits, there was a significant price.”
In 2008 came the news that changed his life: he was diagnosed with cancer.
“People don't realize when they get struck down by cancer they don't immediately jump back to their time in service,” Richard said. "You don't even know how to make the connections.”