Cpl Bill Bogard USMC graduated from high school in 1969 and was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy. He happened to pass a Marine recruiting station one day, and out of the blue, the John Wayne movie, Sands of Iwo Jima, came to mind. At that moment, Bill knew he wanted to be a Marine, so he walked in and enlisted.
GySgt Patrick Mason USMC (Ret) spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, and it was there that he met Phyllis, a civil servant working for the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation (MCHF) had been part of their estate planning for a long time. Patrick’s reasoning is simple: “We have received so much from the Marine Corps; this is a way of giving back. To us, it’s a means of honoring Marines past, present, and future.
Cpl Ed “Matt” Matricardi USMC enlisted in the Marine Corps and volunteered for Vietnam. In 1967, as the corporal squad leader of Combined Action Platoon Alpha Three, he was wounded in a village south of Phu Bai, and awarded the Purple Heart. Years later, through his Unit’s annual reunion, Ed has stayed in contact with his fellow Marines.
Steve Shaw Enlisting in the Corps was the best decision I could have made in 1956. I was accepted into the band and enjoyed it more than I could have known. My drum major was the ideal role model. What I learned from this Gunnery Sergeant and other Marines guided me professionally and personally my entire life.
Early on, Jack Dufour wanted to be a Physical Education teacher and a coach. However, like many boys his age, he lacked the maturity and drive to make a successful transition into college. But when a Marine encouraged Jack to enlist, it was the turning point in his life.
When suicide bombers attacked the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on 23 October 1983, it was the Corps’ deadliest single-day death toll since Iwo Jima. Colonel Sara Pritchett, usmc (ret), joint public affairs officer for the 4th Marine Division and the 4th Aircraft Wing, had overall responsibility for the media. Sally is proud that she played a role in such an important historical event, and it is one of her fondest memories.
Ron Christmas’ USMC (RET) Marine Corps service spans 34 years, culminating with retirement as Lieutenant General. In 1968 Christmas took part in the battle for Hue City and was subsequently awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. He is the past President and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, where he led the charge to expand the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
GySgt Victor Corson USMC (Ret) had wanted to be a U.S Marine ever since he was a little boy. He realized his dream when he enlisted and served proudly for 20 years. When it came time to name beneficiaries for his retirement plan assets, he had no hesitation as to what he wanted to do. Making the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation the beneficiary of his IRA was an easy decision.