Why I Serve: Hands-on Marine Finds His Niche in Corps
By Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel, USMC
Special to American Forces Press Service
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Dec. 23, 2004 "Looking back at why I joined, I realized I was never really good at English or science, but I loved working with my hands and the Marine Corps was definitely the place to do it," said Pfc. Jack H. Meese.
Marine Pfc. Jack H. Meese, a light armored vehicle repairman
with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, said
he learned the basic fundamentals of repairing engines and general mechanics in
four years of high school auto mechanics, so his job in the Marine Corps is
almost like a hobby. Marine Corps photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Meese said he loves working on engines. According to the 19-year-old, it's easy for him to get his job done and accomplish the day's mission.
The soft-spoken light armored vehicle repairman with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, said he learned the basic fundamentals of repairing engines and general mechanics in four years of high school auto mechanics.
"I learned about large and small engines and brake systems. The classes helped prepare me for the job I have now. I love working with vehicles, so my job is basically my hobby," Meese explained.
Joining the Marine Corps was something he wanted to do for several reasons. He saw his father, retired Sgt. Jimmy Auston Majors, and aspired to follow in his footsteps.
"As a kid, my dad told me stories of his days in Vietnam. At times, they scared me a little bit, but mostly they inspired me. Stories of men overcoming great odds to survive," he explained, caused his chest to swell with pride of his father.
Meese said he was very disciplined growing up, showing respect to those who deserved it and controlling his anger, which he said can be very difficult at times.
"Self-discipline depends on the person," he noted. "If I feel like I'm getting aggravated, I take time out and control my anger. The Marine Corps refined my discipline and made me a more successful and better person."
Along with discipline, the Marine Corps helped Meese in other areas, such as his personal life. "My family has grown happier and healthier, because of the benefits the Marine Corps offers," he said.
The young husband and father provides heath care and housing for his family, which is something many young families have trouble with. "We are very fortunate," Meese said about his family. "I'm so thankful for everything the Marine Corps provides for my family and me. I know I made the right decision to sign up."
After making the commitment to serve his country, Meese made the decision to not only be the best at what he does, but have fun doing it.
"Why go through life stressed out? I just do my job. I'm fortunate to have a job I want to do for the rest of my life, and I have professional training under my belt," he explained. "I can continue my career in automotive repair even after I get out of the Marine Corps."
As the family man prepares to deploy to Iraq to make his mark in Marine Corps history, just as his father did, his thoughts naturally fall to his family.
"I just want them to know I will do my best to come back safely and I will make them proud, especially my father, who is the reason I am what I am today," he said.
(Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel is a combat correspondent with the 2nd Marine Division.)