Bobby Cornell, Guest Blogger
Service Manager, Gearhead Cycle House
We are so proud to have among our own team those who have served in the military. Bobby Cornell is the Service Manager for the Gearhead Cycle House and served in the Marines for four years. He stopped in to answer some of our questions about his time overseas. Thank you Bobby for your service on our team and for our country.
Q: What prompted you to enter the military?
My cousin, who I’d always looked up to, was a Marine. I saw him travel the world and fight for his country in Desert Storm, and I saw how his four-year military career helped prepare him for the rest of his life.
Q: Why did you choose the Marines?
I wanted to challenge myself. The few. The proud.
Q: Where were you stationed?
I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, for 3 1/2 years, a small little island in the East China Sea.
Q: When did you serve?
2001 – 2005. I left for boot camp nine days after 9/11.
Q: What was your position during your time?
Artillery, Mechanic and Vehicle Recovery.
Q: What was the most memorable moment of your military career?
I was hand selected to attend the battle of Iwo Jima anniversary memorial service. Iwo Jima is an uninhabited island you can only get to by boat. It’s a three mile island that serves as an outdoor museum to one of the most historic events in world history. It was an experience I will never forget.
(Battle of Iwo Jima Flag Raising)
Q: How did your time overseas affect your civilian life once you came home?
I was much more appreciative of what I have. Traveling all over Asia was an eye-opening experience to how fortunate we are to live in America.
Q: What was communication like for you while you were away?
Very slim — all we had were letters and phone cards. No cell phones, no Internet. We were on a completely opposite time schedule from everyone we knew.
Q: Why do you support Operation Gratitude?
Being away from your family for so long is really difficult, but you are also away from everything that’s familiar to you — everyday luxuries that we can take for granted. Receiving care package was like receiving a piece of home.
Thank you for your support of Operation Gratitude. As someone who’s been there, I know what a difference it makes to people.