Marine Corps Success Stories: Patrick Shea
Patrick Shea: "When I was 17 years of age, I wasn't starting to go the straight line like I was supposed to, when I was, graduated from high school at 17, and I needed a challenge, and everyone kept telling me I was too young to be a military police officer, and the Marine Corps recruiter kept telling me when you graduate honor man, you can become a military police officer. So he was putting the challenge out to me, and I wanted to take the challenge. The ethic comes from the love for family. Here, I grew up in an Irish Catholic family, and it was about dedication, about loyalty to family, and I also had a loyalty to my country. I went in right after the Beirut bombing in October of '83, and my loyalty was, it was my turn to serve for my country. The way they broke us down in, in the first phase of boot camp, then started to rebuild us in the second phase, you could see it was all about yourself, and if you couldn't do it there was someone right there to help you, the teamwork, and you, the family you may have been looking for before, you have found that family. 'Cause everyone stepped up to help others, other Marines that were struggling in boot camp, you saw everyone pull together to make a nice, tight family platoon. I was more confident in myself when I graduated because I did graduate honor man, and I, I proved to myself that I could do it very well. And the Marine Corps had taught me how to be a man, stand on my own two feet, and not worry about the little things in life. There was more out there. I was with Fox Company, 2nd battalion 8th Marines out of Camp Lejune, and we traveled, I did what they called a west pack. I went over to the Indian Ocean, I traveled to Okinawa, Japan, and some of the liberties we did with the Philippines, Thailand, Tokyo, um, cold weather training, uh, mainland Japan, at Mount Fuji. Seeing the rest of the world through young eyes was just amazing because I was so used to growing up on an island, and leaving the island was a huge experience. Now I was 28, 29 hours away from home, on the other side of the world, and you're, you're experiencing it with brother Marines, it was just incredible. What we read about in high school we were now experiencing it and living it for ourselves. Seeing other countries after what I, I grew up with and what I became used to, you're really thankful, very grateful for what the Marine Corps gave you, and what you saw, coming out of the Marine Corps, and you realize what a great country we have. The Marines come into different communities. They not only work at, at rebuilding facilities, we have, uh, people here who graduated high school when I worked with them as a police officer in the high school. They're over there telling me, sending me emails, about what they're doing in Iraq, and they're working to bring food into different communities, that they usually wouldn't have, building hospitals. Marine Corps is important because the freedoms that everyone enjoy and understand every single day, they need to understand, it's people like these Marines behind us who give us the ability to enjoy those freedoms. And that's where the character comes from."