CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Every Marine will, at one time in their career, cross paths with a fellow Marine whose story is so remarkable and whose testimony so true, that a legacy is created — an impression never forgotten and always inspiring. For many, that inspirational figure is Marion P Carcirieri.
"It was probably the greatest thing that ever happened for me to be a Marine," said Marion P. Carcirieri, retired sergeant major and currently manager of the Camp Geiger Exchange. "It gave me a career, brought me food, brought me clothes, I can’t ever complain about the Marine Corps."
Born on Dec. 31, 1925, Carcirieri grew up in the Great Depression era of the United States before enlisting some time before he turned 17, when he lied about his age in order to be able to serve his country.
"I came in during World War II; it was very rough for me in those days," said Carcirieri.
He first saw war during the Battle of Okinawa, fighting on the Pacific front where he received his first of many combat stars. He also fought in Korea and Vietnam, earning many prestigious awards including; the Bronze Star with combat V, Navy Achievement Medal and a Navy citation to go along with his four Purple Hearts.
He served 31 years in the Marine Corps, but he still continues to serve the Marine Corps in a different way.
"Our Marine Corps discipline and guidance is the best that the nation can offer," said Carcirieri. "I will always remember the friendship and the tight bond between Marines, the discipline, the appearance and the will to get the job done no matter what."
Carcirieri has worked for Marine Corps Community Services for almost 40 years now, still mentoring those who work with him as he continually watches the new age of Marines pave their own ways.
"I just want the Marines that came after to remember that they’re wearing the uniform of their country and by God show our colors high and bright like we did," said Carcirieri. "Do it for all our fellow fallen Marines before us because they stood for the same uniform we’re wearing now and they better wear it right and be proud of it."