Born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, A former resident of in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He now lives in Florida with his family He joined the United States Marine Corps in November 2000, at the age of 18, after graduation from Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, New York. “When I was 16, about to turn 17, I ran away from home. Worked at Kohl’s as an Assistant Supervisor in Sales by the age of 17 in Melville, New York. One day, I was walking to work, 17-year-old kid, not paying attention to the weather, and it was a three-mile walk. It started pouring rain. I was about a mile into my walk and had two more miles to go when a guy driving a Jeep pulled in front of me. He asked where I was going. I told him I was walking to Kohl’s. He said that’s about two miles away. I told him it was three miles from my house, and I walk it every day back and forth.” The man offered to drive Tony
to work. “After I got in the car, the first thing he said to me
was, ‘Did you ever think about joining the Marine Corps?’ I said, ‘No,’ and that’s when I noticed there were dress blues hanging behind him in the vehicle. He was home on recruiters’ duty. He said, ‘Would you?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’” Tony told the recruiter what time
his shift ended, and the recruiter showed up at his job 15 minutes before quitting time. Tony left for boot camp a short three weeks later. “A lady had been hounding me for a year to join the Army after talking to her at a job fair in high school, but I wasn’t interested. I just wanted the camouflage pencils that she had. I didn’t know anything about the Marine Corps. I had only seen one Marine in my life and that was in Washington D.C. when I was a kid on a school trip.” Boot camp was at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, from where he graduated in February 2001. Tony wrote both parents during boot camp, advising them of his enlistment. “My dad was Army. He was drafted during Vietnam and thought I was crazy for going into the Marine Corps, but he was proud of me. My mom didn’t
respond. Since then, I’ve been really tight with my dad. I would go home and visit him in my blues, and he’d be excited to take me around and show me off.” In 2003, Tony and his mother renewed their relationship, as well. After bootcamp, Tony went on to the Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger, near Jacksonville, North Carolina, for six weeks training as an 0311 Infantry Rifleman, known affectionately to us all as the Marine Corps Grunt and the backbone of the Marine Corps. His first duty station was at Camp Pendleton, near San Clemente, California, stationed with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. He was there for only five months before going on deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, for seven months.
Then it was back to Camp Pendleton until February 2003, when he deployed first to Kuwait, then into Iraq, for Operation Iraqi Freedom for seven months, where he received a combat promotion to Corporal. Tony again returned to Camp Pendleton before a third deployment in May 2004 to Al Muhammadiyah, Iraq, outside of Fallujah with the Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. He returned to Camp Pendleton around August 2004, to his original unit 3 rd Battalion, 5th Marines, until his discharge in November 2004. Along with his Good Conduct Medal, Tony received the National Defense Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Unit Citation twice, the Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Service Deployment Ribbon three times.
In 2012, Tony graduated from University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. From 2004 to 2012, stayed in California for a bit, but also lived in New York, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. His first job after his military service was with Homeland
Security for about six months at the Los Angeles Airport Transportation Security Administration in Los Angeles, California. He moved on and worked various jobs until April of 2013, when he returned to Homeland Security as an Immigration Services Officer
here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and where he is currently employed. In 2021, Tony married his wife, Heather. With her, he has 3 stepdaughters, Kara 20, Caley 17, Carter 9, and they just gave birth to boy, Logan, on June 21 st this year. Tony believes the Marine Corps changed the direction of life for the better. “I was just kind of floating around, working, and finishing high school. I didn’t really have any goals of what to do when I met my recruiter. I wanted to go to college, but I had run away from
home and didn’t really know how to do that on my own. The Marines gave me discipline and guidance. It gave me that need to serve, especially after going overseas and seeing combat, serving the people over there.” Initially, Tony wanted to become a Los Angeles County Sheriff after discharge but couldn’t pass the medical portion of the test due to injuries he incurred in the military. “So, that’s why I went to college and the military allowed me to be able to do that with the GI Bill. I’ve come full circle. The military has contributed to everything I’ve done since the
day I discharged. It helped me with public speaking. I got a lot of opportunities as a result of my time in service.” He also jokes that because of the Marine Corps, he now has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For anyone thinking of enlisting in the military, Tony advises, “Join the Marine Corps. Just do it. Best decision I every made. It’s not going to be all vanilla skies and pink bunny rabbits. It’s going to suck, but it was one of the best decisions I made in my life. On the other hand, it opened up so many doors. It opened up doors that I didn’t know existed. The brotherhood. The whole being part of team and working as a team is something you don’t get anywhere else. Although I suffer with PTSD, I have to thank the Marine Corps League. When you’re in a dark hole and you think there’s no one there for you, I could look up and there’d be at least three Marines from the Marine Corps League (MCL) there for me.” As for anyone thinking of discharging, he says, “Don’t do it. Stay in if you can. There’s nothing out here for you.” As for civilians, Tony says, “I wish they knew that at one point, we were willing to risk our lives for them. That’s not just a saying. That’s actually what happens.”
Tony learned of the Marine Corps League from a marine veteran named Dennis Vance. “He walked past me in the Walmart in Rio Rancho after I had lived here a just a few months in 2013. He said, ‘Hey, are you a Marine?’ I was probably wearing something
that said Marine Corps on it. I said, ‘Yes.’ He invited me to a meeting that same week and I joined. They gave me the duty of the Young Marines in Rio Rancho as my first MCL duty with Chuck Walters.” Tony is Detachment 1316’s Past Commandant, which he
served from 2019-2020. He is currently the Department of New Mexico Judge Advocate, Department Marine for Life Network Liaison, Department Public Affairs Officer, Detachment Color Guard Honor Guard Commander, Detachment Marine for Life Network Liaison, Detachment Public Affairs Officer, and Detachment Ship Store Manager. Sadly, MCL Detachment 1316 will be saying goodbye to Tony and his family. He has accepted a position with Homeland Security in Tampa, Florida, and leaving us in July 2022. We wish him well. Our loss is their gain.
Bob was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and now resides in
Albuquerque. Born an only child, Bob’s parents passed from lung cancer when he was 18. He joined the Navy in 1962 at the age of 22. Beforehand, Bob worked at the Winfield State Hospital in Winfield, Kansas, as Psychiatric Aide. He and a friend joined the Navy Reserves together, choosing the Navy because he was most familiar with that branch. Once the site of an early 1900’s World’s Fair turned Naval base, Bob was sent to Treasure Island Naval Base, San Francisco, California. At that time, basic reserve
training was two weeks long. Afterward, Bob returned to Winfield State Hospital and served in the Reserves in Winfield, Kansas, for approximately 6 years, during which he went to Great Lakes, Illinois, for Hospital Corps School for MOS Hospital Corpsman.
“I knew if I became a Corpsman, I’d be stationed in a nice hospital somewhere, but that didn’t work out.” In 1963, he went on active duty for two years as a Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (HM3), stationed back at Treasure Island, working in the Shot Clinic. After a few months, he moved on to a six-week Field Medical School at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, assigned to the Fleet Marine Force. “That’s where we learned to put up with Marines.” In September 1964, he transferred to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, Okinawa, Japan, working as a Corpsman with the front-line Marines for two years. “Everywhere they went, I went. Whatever they did, we did. We took care of the sick or injured. We also went on float and attended cold weather training in Mount Fuji, Japan.” Like many Corpsmen, they nicknamed him “Doc.” January 1965, Bob deployed to Happy Valley, Danang Vietnam, until December 1965, with the 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, staying with the unit on
the front lines of the battlefield. “Rice paddies, trees, and elephant grass that you couldn’t walk through. Someone gets injured, the Corpsman goes to the injured.” Bob carried his medical supplies on his back. “It wasn’t very big. Mainly bandages and morphine.” As non-combatants, Corpsmen only carried a .45 pistol. If he needed a rifle, “the Marines always had them if I needed one.” Once the wounded were treated, he radioed for medivac. The helicopter would land as close as possible, and the Corpsmen helped the wounded to the helicopter if they could not walk.
Along with his National Defense, Armed Forces Expeditionary, Vietnamese Service, and Good Conduct medals, Bob received the Silver Star for what he describes as “helping out the Marines” when another Corpsman was injured and evacuated. Bob treated him and then took care of both platoons -- both platoons requested he be awarded a medal. “Helping out the Marines” is putting it lightly. In reality, according to the Silver Star citation, he was awarded the medal “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against a hostile force… during a search and clear operation on 17 July 1965, in the La Chau Village complex… When the lead element of the second platoon encountered a
mine field and was simultaneously brought under Viet Cong fire from several directions, Petty Officer Bardwell, upon receiving a call from the adjacent unit, left his platoon and maneuvered approximately 200 yards across an open rice paddy in the face of heavy fire to locate and administer aid to two Marines, one of whom had been critically wounded by a mine detonation. With additional injuries being sustained by members of his own
platoon as the intensity of the fire increased, he again ignored the mortar and automatic weapons fire impacting nearby, returned to his unit via the same open rice paddy and
encountered two other Marines requiring requiring medical attention. After administering necessary first aid measures, he assisted the Senior Corpsman in directing medical evacuation of the wounded by helicopter while under a heavy volume of hostile fire directed into the landing zone.” “Living with Marines was fun. I was able to give them a hard time. They took care of me.
I enjoyed it. No bad memories other than the war.” From Vietnam, Bob was transferred to the USS Sperry in San Diego to finish his reserve duty, discharging in June 1966, as a Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (HM2). The “military made me realize that life can be real short. I blame my loss of hair to the helmet. I don’t sit with my back to the door, and I’ve been treated for PTSD.” Once back in Winfield, Kansas, Bob started nursing school at William Newton Memorial Hospital, graduating in 1969, as a Registered Nurse. “For some reason, when I graduated, they closed down William Newton.” While there, he met his future wife, Carin, also a registered nurse. Looking to find work at a VA Hospital, Bob chose the Albuquerque area, and has lived here since. He started at the VA Hospital in 1969 and worked there as a Surgery Nurse until retiring in 2002. In 1971, he returned to Kansas and married Carin, who moved back to New Mexico with him. Carin worked for a nursing home until they started their family. They have one daughter, Carleen, and two grandchildren -- Brooklyn, girl, Hayden, boy. For those who are thinking of enlisting he says, “Do it. Find somewhere to be trained so you have some skills when you get out. Find out what you like to do.” For those discharging, he advises, “Don’t waste too much time. Go to school and find work.” As for civilians, “I wish people realized what they were told about the baby killers and this and that was not true. They do the best they can without much to do it with.” How did he hear about the Marine Corps League? “I was at a baseball game once, wearing my Silver Star hat, and I was jumped on and told all about the Marine Corps League. I’m not sure if they held my hand behind my back or not, but I decided to check it out and found it was something I liked.”
Barbara was born in 1935, in Indianapolis, Indiana. From her freshman year at Deer Park High School, and even though she was raised in a Navy family, Barbara knew she would become a Marine. In 1953, at age 17, and while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, she enlisted in the Marine Corps. However, she had to wait until she turned 18 to swear-in, and even then, as a woman, she needed her parents’ consent. “Everyone told my mom and dad, ‘Don’t let her go.’ Women didn’t do things like join the military back then. But I knew what I wanted to do and I did it. My mom said, ‘She’ll hate me if I don’t let her go,’ and signed for me.” As did all female Marines up until the year 2022, Barbara completed boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. After boot camp, she transferred to Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where she simultaneously worked as an 0121 Legal Clerk, an 0131 Administrative Stenographer, and an 0141 Clerk Typist, as well as a stenographer/court reporter in the Courts section, but which had no separate MOS. During her three-year tour at Lejeune, Barbara worked as the Admin for the Commanding General, Lewis “Chesty” Puller. “He had a speaker to contact us in the legal office, and I used to respond to him. When they found out I could take shorthand, I would be called to his office often to take the minutes of a meeting. Most of the other court reporters in the office were civilians and I was the only one in the military, and the only one able to take shorthand. The others used a steno-mask which they wore over their face to repeat everything that went on in the meeting that would record everything. He was very thoughtful of the women. He acknowledged the women who worked for him and in his building. He was a very generous man.”
Major General Puller retired from the Marine Corps in 1955 and passed away in 1971. He is buried in Saluda, Virginia, and Barbara has visited his grave site. “The story goes that the reason he wanted to be buried in that civil war cemetery was because he’d be the highest ranking officer there.” Barbara’s entire active duty career was spent at Camp Lejeune. “In 1953, women Marines were only ten years old. Back then, women were not allowed to get orders outside the continental United States and Alaska and Hawaii weren’t even states, yet.” When not on duty, she played both softball and basketball. She had the opportunity to play against two of her former drill instructors, and proudly beat them. Upon discharge, she held the rank of Sergeant. “I made Sergeant in two and a half years. They didn’t have the Lance Corporal rank back then. We made PFC right out of boot camp, then Corporal, then Sergeant.” She earned her Good Conduct Medal and National Defense Ribbon for service during the Korean War Era.
Barbara discharged in 1956 and went home to Cincinnati for two years, working as a stenographer in the Jet Engine Department for General Electric. “I worked with the engineers who designed and tested the first commercial jet engine, the Convair 880. Later, after I met my husband, I went to Boston to meet his parents and was at the airport when I looked out the window and saw on the tail of the airplane ‘Convair 880 the CJ 805.’ That was the group that I worked with in Cincinnati. When I left, it was still in process, and I thought, ‘They finally got it off the ground.’” Barbara married an Army serviceman after discharging. In 1958, Manton “Matt” Winslow was Stationed in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, at a Nike missile site underground. “I was at Camp Lejeune with his sister and that’s how I met him. She was living in Cleveland, I was in Cincinnati, and he was stationed in Pittsburg, and I met him while we were both there to visit her. His mother told his sister to find him ‘a nice girl.’” They married in June of 1958, and he discharged in February of 1959. Barbara and Matt then moved to a small town outside Boston, Massachusetts. “I was glad to get away from the big city. It was a lovely stay. I loved Massachusetts. I grew up in small towns and we lived outside Boston in the city of Hudson. We could be close to the big city but still have a family in a small town.” For the first seven years of their marriage, Barbara again went to work for General Electric, until the birth of her first child. Afterward, stayed home with her kids, Lauren, Patricia, and John, until the oldest two were in high school and youngest was in third grade. She went back to work as a bank teller for a credit union for twelve and a half years while Matt worked for Polaroid in Waltham, Massachusetts, for 28 years. They moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1977 after Matt retired. Barbara and Matt were married for 63 years until his passing on October 3, 2021. Barbara has been a member of the Marine Corps League since 1995. She was first a member of Detachment 381 in Albuquerque, then transferred as a charter member to Detachment 1316 in Rio Rancho in 2008. Between the two, she held the position of Paymaster for 25 years until moving to Ruidoso, where she currently resides. Barbara remains a member of MCL 1316 and was honored as the oldest Marine at the Albuquerque 2022 Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
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Marine Corps League, LCpl Christopher Adlesperger
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124, United States
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