Skip to comments.Face of Defense: Small-town America Leads Marine to Big-time Success
Posted on 04/29/2009 5:00:39 PM PDT by SandRat
| MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., April 29, 2009 All across the United States, from coast to coast and from border to border, youll find thousands of small, one-stoplight towns where livestock outnumber people.
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rodney Freeman, a 40-year-old Clarks Hill native and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear defense officer with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, credits his great-grandmother and being raised in small-town America for his success in the Marine Corps.
My great-grandmother embedded in me some extremely valuable core traits, Freeman said. She instilled in me discipline, a good work ethic, caring for others and a sense of family [and] unity.
Freeman, whos been in the Marine Corps for 21 years, said being a Marine has been one of his wisest decisions, and that he has enjoyed his time in service.
Those values my grandmother instilled in me definitely made boot camp and being a Marine easier, Freeman said. From my perspective, I believe that the majority of good Marines are the product of a good upbringing.
Freeman said as a teenager he was certain he wanted to become a Marine. He never second-guessed the decision.
The Marine Corps caught my attention when I was in the 11th grade, he said. I was at a baseball game when I saw a reservist Marine in dress blues. He didnt say a single word; he didnt have to. He just stood there with a high-and-tight, looking lean and mean. He didnt say anything. Its just the way he carried himself.
Courage, one of the core values he learned as a young boy, has been especially important to Freeman throughout his time in the Corps.
One of the most challenging situations in the Marine Corps is having the courage to stand up to those who are senior to you, Freeman said. To address issues that you feel are unfair, and not to just give up because they dont particularly agree with you. You just have to continue to fight for what you believe in.
While Freeman was in Iraq preparing for a flight to another location, he sparked up a conversation with a younger Marine. He asked the Marine a common question: What do you do?
The Marine then gave a common response, Nothing much, sir.
What do you mean by nothing much? Freeman asked.
Well, sir, I would rather do other things, I would rather [leave here].
Freeman told him he was an important asset, and thats why he was doing that particular job. Then the Marine finally told him his exact job description.
Sir, removing and loading dead, blood-dripping bodies from aircraft and vehicles gets really tiring, the Marine said.
At that instant, Freeman said, he realized how strong and selfless Marines are.
It really dawned on me at that point. To be a Marine, or to be a servicemember, period, is special because were all willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, which takes a lot of courage, Freeman said.
Freeman said after he serves his final two years in Indian Head, Md., working with the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, he plans to return to some small town in the Carolinas or Georgia.
Im not one of those guys who chase dollars, Freeman said. So right now, Im looking to do my dream job of becoming a Junior ROTC teacher, which would give me the opportunity to mentor, lead, and hopefully help out some young men and women.
(Marine Corps Cpl. Casey Jones serves with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.)
Thanks Sandrat for the post.
Men like CWO Freeman make me proud to know I was in the same Corps as he now serves. How is it that the Marines continue to recruit these fine young men?
Makes me sick to know that there are some in the Corps who put their own future ahead of good enlisted and officers like LtCol. Chessani and the other Haditha Marines.