The Few and the Proud: Once a Marine Always Marine

Sasha Bush

The Greater Ashland Beacon

            The Marines have long been at the forefront of every American War since their founding. Since the founding of the United States Marine Corps, they have carried out over 300 missions on foreign shores and have served everywhere from the Poles to the Tropics. To be a Marine one must possess the ability to put others before themselves and have a true desire for service to our country that supersedes all others. “The Few. The Proud.” has long been a slogan of the Marines since the year 1977. This slogan is not one to be taken lightly. It not only reflects the unique character of the Marine Corps, but it also underscores the high caliber of all that join and serves this great country. To be a Marine is one of the greatest honors that one can partake in.

            Retired Corporal, Benjamin Scott Adkins, has a lot to be proud of. Adkins served his country with both pride and honor for many years. Adkins comes from a long line of fellow service members. Adkins shared with the Beacon, “I had several family members that served in the military.  My maternal grandfather was in the Army during WWII.  He was in the invasion of North Africa and Sicily.  My paternal grandfather was in the Navy.  He signed up for the duration of the war plus two years.  I had numerous uncles and cousins in the military.  My dad also served in the Airforce during the Vietnam era.  I joined the USMC during my second year of college at Marshall University at the age of 20.”

            Like most people who join any branch of the Military, Adkins wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do with his life at first. “Not knowing what I wanted to do with my life helped guide me toward the military.  Plus, growing up, hearing my dad's stories about his time in the service added to the mystery of joining the service. If you are a young person and aren't sure of the direction you are headed, please consider joining the military.  It will set you in the right direction, give you confidence that you never knew you had, and open so many doors that will guide you to your final destination,” declared Adkins.

            For the majority of Corporal Adkins's service to our country, he was stationed stateside. He was stationed at Parris Island, SC for USMC boot camp and was later stationed at Camp Lejeune. Adkins recalls his fondest memory of serving; “my fondest memory of serving was being able to go overseas with the 26th MEU Service Support Group.  The eight different countries I was able to visit... the people I was able to serve with and being able to be a part of a unit dethatched with NATO on a multinational peacekeeping force.  The training that I received in the military has helped form me into the person I am today.  It has molded me and shaped me to be a help to others, our community, and those I encounter every day.”

            Adkins currently works at Paul G, Blazer High School as an English teacher for grades ninth, tenth, and twelfth. Adkins has been teaching since 2005 and stated that “My love for teaching comes from the Lord.  I have always enjoyed sharing what I know with others.” To this day Adkins uses his Military training even within the classroom. “I feel that I use my military training every day in my class.  Instilling discipline in my students beginning from day one, allows them to understand that I am there for them and will give them every tool that I can for them to become successful.  Respect is earned, not demanded,” noted Adkins. “The most valuable lesson that I think I learned from serving in the Marine Corps is probably that no matter the situation you are in, there is always a way to look at it; learn from an attack on every angle,” added Adkins. A lesson that can certainly be applied to all walks of life.

            Veterans Day holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone across America. It is a day that we honor and remember those that fought so valiantly for our country in all capacities. “Serving my country was an extremely humbling experience.  One that I do not take lightly.  It means giving of yourself so that others can sleep at night.  So, they can enjoy the freedoms that we have daily.  I did what I did out of respect and love for my country.  Do I think that it is nice to have Veterans Day, yes?  Do I think that I deserve any special recognition for serving my county, no... It was my pleasure, and I would do it again in a heartbeat,” noted Adkins.  




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