Depot Marines receive Col. Nate Smith scholarship
By Cpl. James Green
| | July 20, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT --
Three depot Marines stood proud Tuesday morning as they were presented with educational scholarships at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society’s July Quarterly Breakfast.
Gunnery Sgts. David Rodriguez, chief instructor at Drill Instructor School, John Wilson, instructor at Recruiter’s School and Chun Park, Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program preparatory school student, all received checks for $1,000. Brigadier Gen. Angie Salinas, commanding general of MCRD San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region presented the scholarships in honor of the late Colonel Nate Smith.
Eligible applicants for the scholarship included enlisted Marines and dependents of MCRD and the WRR who are currently enrolled in college.
They were required to fill out an application for the scholarship. From there, their applications were reviewed by a committee before three of 12 were selected for the award.
Rodriguez, a native of Moorpark, Calif., said that there are a lot of Marines on the depot who missed out on the opportunity to apply for “easy money.”
“Education is important,” said Rodriguez. “I made the mistake of not going to school my first tour. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.”
To date, Rodriguez is now in his senior year toward earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at National University.
“The Col. Nate Smith scholarship is a great opportunity for Marines to get money for college,” said Barbara McCurtis, director of the depot museum. “They can use the money for books, tuition or other expenses they may have; there are no restrictions on how they spend it.”
McCurtis, a native of St.. Louis, said that Col. Smith’s family started the foundation in 2003 after he passed away.
“His family knew he thought very highly of education and thought that Marines furthering their schooling was important,” McCurtis added. “I think everybody should apply for this scholarship. There is so much money out there that no one receives because they are too worried about not being selected.”