Marines, poolees remember fallen comrades of 9/11, GWOT
By Staff Sgt. Nathan L. Hanks Jr
| | September 11, 2004
NORTHFIELD, N.J. --
Approximately 20 poolees from Recruiting Substation Atlantic City, N.J., gathered for their monthly meeting September 11, 2004. This month’s meeting was designed to remind the poolees to never forget their fallen comrades.In front of the recruiting substation, Staff Sgt. Kevin A. Stom, staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge, RSS Atlantic City, N.J., had this to say when he addressed his formation of poolees. “We all know what happened three years ago today,” Stom said. “Today, we remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and during the Global War on Terrorism.” With the third anniversary in mind, Stom held a moment of silence and had the poolees reaffirm their oath of enlistment before their motivational run on the Atlantic City boardwalk. “The moment of silence was an appropriate tribute,” Stom said. “I wanted the poolees to think about those who lost their lives not only on September 11, 2001 but those who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice today.”Stom also stated that the oath of enlistment was for the poolees to renew their commitment to the Marine Corps and their country. According to poolee Shannon McVeigh, a senior at Hammonton High School, Hammonton, N.J., the oath of enlistment reminded her of the day she enlisted.“I always wanted to join the Marine Corps,” McVeigh said whose mother and father were both Marines. “I wanted to join the Marine Corps to prove to myself I could do it, to fight for my country and make my family proud.”At the end of the day, Stom held a guided discussion on the events that took place on September 11, 2001. Marines and poolees talked about where they were and what they were doing at the time of the attack on the World Trade Center. Although most of the poolees were in school, they listened to Cpl. Carlos Castillo a bulk fuel specialist, who was in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the time of the attack after returning from a tour of duty in Japan.“I was on leave preparing to transfer to Cherry Point, N.C., when I saw the attack on television,” he said. “The next thing you know, a year after, I find myself in Iraq.” Castillo, a native of the Dominican Republic, said he knew people, to include his mother’s cousin, who died in the attack. Castillo served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and also in Haiti. “I have a lot of respect for those of you who step up and do what we (Marines) do best …defend the United States,” Castillo said to the poolees. According to McVeigh, she was proud to be surrounded by those who have volunteered to enlist in the Marine Corps. “Many have fought and some have died serving our country,” she said. “Now that I am older, it is time for me to step up.”McVeigh leaves for Marine Corps Recruit Training at Parris Island, S.C., June 27, 2005.