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    Truly sharing the legacy: Volunteers recognized for years of inspiring new Marines

    Truly sharing the legacy: Volunteers recognized for years of inspiring new Marines

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes | Aulton Kohn, a member of the Share the Legacy program, speaks to new Marines April 11....... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. - Ten veterans who participate in the “Share the Legacy” program were recognized for their contributions May 13 at Traditions aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

    These men take turns speaking with new Marines just before they graduate training to welcome them to the Corps and share their experience with the youngest men and women among its ranks. Although the program began in the late 1990s, this was the first time these men were recognized for their assistance in impacting the new Marines’ esprit de corps.

    “The Marine Corps prides itself on its long, illustrious legacy and honors the commitment of those who have gone before,” read the certificate of appreciation they received, which was signed by Brig. Gen. Frederick M. Padilla, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the Eastern Recruiting Region. “Your unwavering support to passing on our traditions to our future Corps is the hallmark of honor, courage and commitment,” it read.

    The award was presented to John Brennen, Richard Fitzgerald, Patrick Garret, E. Robert Hepfner, Steve Illes, Albert Keeton, Aulton Kohn, James Moore, Guy Richardson, Sam Spain Sr. and Floyd Wiley.

    “The volunteers are being recognized for their time and effort,” said Jennifer Cannon, who schedules the Share the Legacy visits. The veteran Marines provide any supplies they need for themselves and are not reimbursed for any traveling expenses, even though some travel from as far as Florida.

    Beginning early Friday, the speakers attended the Morning Colors Ceremony where they were thanked by Col. Ricky L. Grabowski, chief of staff for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the Eastern Recruiting Region. They proceeded to India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion’s graduation and ate at Traditions afterward, where they each were surprised with their awards.

    “Every Marine understands that the Corps’ reputation for honor, courage and commitment is a sacred inheritance from past Marines,” said Eric Junger, G-3 training officer and veteran Marine major. “We are fiercely proud of our history and traditions, and we pass them on with pride.”

    The speakers’ participation assists in instilling that feeling into the new Marines, Junger added.

    Junger said the program was originally called “Once a Marine,” but it was changed to emphasize its impact on the new Marines with each session the veterans hold.

    “The sessions are not to spit sea stories,” Junger said. “It’s about how the Marine Corps teaches you to be successful in life and really focus on the traits, the values and the principles we stand for.”

    Pfc. Joel Garrison, guide for Platoon 3036, India Company, 3rd RTBn., said it was inspiring to hear Aulton Kohn, the volunteer who spoke to his platoon, speak about serving in the Corps and fighting in the Vietnam War.

    After all Kohn had endured, he was still proud to be a Marine, Garrison said.

    “[His visit] made me look forward to having a career in the Marine Corps instead of just doing my four years,” Garrison continued.
    The ceremony and award presentation demonstrate the value these volunteers have to the Marine Corps as an essential part of the recruit-training mission.



    Date Taken: 05.27.2011
    Date Posted: 05.27.2011 12:07
    Story ID: 71198
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US 

    Web Views: 205
    Downloads: 0