Marine forgoes career in education to serve country
By Cpl. Shawn M. Toussaint
| | April 09, 2004
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
After their son earned degrees in sociology and education, Chris and Daisy Dodds thought he was on his way to a teaching career.
Little did they know their 25-year-old son would be leaving Burlington, Iowa to undergo recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
PFC David C. Dodds, platoon 3053, Company K, decided to put off a promising career in education to serve his country as a riflemen in the United States Marine Corps.
At first, the decision did not thrill Dodds' parents, whose younger son, George, had just returned home after serving four years in the Corps and fighting in Iraq.
"Initially, Mom and Dad were pretty upset," said Chris about his son's decision to join the Corps. "His younger brother had just gotten back, and now he was telling us he was joining the Marines. We were worried. But after he told us his reason, we could only feel proud."
A burning desire to do something to help his fellow countrymen fighting in Iraq simply outweighed his desire to do anything else, said his mother.
"It destroyed me, watching the war on TV and knowing my little brother was over there getting shot at," said PFC Dodds. "It made me feel like I had to do something."
Although PFC Dodds had the support of his family behind him, some of his fellow students had a hard time understanding his interest in the Corps.
"Even some of my friends and professors argued against my decision," said PFC Dodds. "Their reasoning just didn't make sense to me. I felt like they were not supporting the troops or my brother."
Dodds grew tired of young people complaining, and he decided to do something about it, according to his father.
PFC Dodds said being a Marine is something he always wanted to do, and today he accomplishes that goal. Looking back on his experiences in recruit training, PFC Dodds is thankful to the Corps for challenging him to become better in every facet of his life.
"The Corps has refined me," said Dodds. "In school, I educated my mind. Here, I built my character."
Dodds aspires to be in the decision-making world of politics someday, and he said the experience he'll gain in the Marine Corps can only help.
"The Marine Corps, more than anything else, teaches leadership," said PFC Dodds.
A field that demands high leadership standards, politics should be a comfortable fit for a person with a bachelor of science in sociology, a bachelors of arts in education and priceless Marine Corps knowledge and experiences.