Corps Welcomes Families at Birthday Celebration
By Sgt. Amanda Hay
| | November 15, 2000
CLARK, N.J. --
During the season people tend to be more aware of making room in their busy schedules to spend quality time with and show appreciation for those they care about ? and the Marines of Recruiting Substation Elizabeth are no exception.
The Marines of this 3-man station and the veterans from the local area recently hosted their annual poolee family night at the local American Legion.
For the eighth year in a row, Ray Lynch, a former Marine and member of the John Basilone Detachment of the Marine Corps League, Milltown, N.J., selflessly arranged the whole night. The food, the hall and volunteers who served the food, were gathered by Lynch and other members of the John Basilone Detachment.
?This is a perfect time to show these kids how proud we are that they made the choice to become a Marine, and let them know we will be here supporting them all the way,? Lynch said. ?We hope they will treasure their experience as much as we treasure ours.?
Staff Sgt. Richard Nezbeth, the NCOIC of RSS Elizabeth, agreed with Lynch by saying, ?This shows them the type a organization that the Marine Corps is. It?s an organization of people who look out for and care for each other. The veterans and recruiters do care about them. They?re not just a number.?
Moms, dads, brothers, sisters and future Marines mingled with each other and took the opportunity to ask any questions of the Marines present.
The family of poolee Michael Hogan, an 18-year-old graduate of Arthur L. Johnson High School, Clark, N.J., all said they felt a lot better with his choice at the end of the night. Hogan left for recruit training a week earlier and the family was nervous about what their loved one was going through.
?This totally changed my impression of the Marine Corps. Now I?m not scared, I?m more proud,? Joan Byrne, the grandmother of Michael Hogan said.
His 16-year-old sister, Eileen, of Clark, N.J., also said interacting and listening to the Marines helped calm her nerves. ?It felt good to hear actual Marines share their view about recruit training and the Marine Corps as a whole. It?s not as bad as I thought.?
A family night is also a good opportunity for the parents and poolees to mingle with the veterans and their wives who were humbly serving the food to everyone. Tony Lima, an Iwo Jima survivor and several Korean War veterans were recognized for their service and what they did after the Marine Corps during one of the speeches.
?It?s important for everyone to see that there is life after the Marine Corps; and your experience in the Corps can ultimately lead you to very significant positions in society,? Lynch said. ?The lessons and skills you learn will go with you where ever you go and whatever you do.?
Lynch, who worked for Union county police department for 25 years and retired detective Captain, said he accomplished many things in his career, but the most proud part of his life was his service to the country as a Marine. ?This is a way for me give back to the Marine Corps and to show gratitude for my experience as a Marine.?