Alan Yeck served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps from September 1979 to September 1982. Stationed at several bases throughout his military career — including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Kaneohe, Hawaii — he achieved the rank of corporal.
What drew you to enlist?
My grandfather drove a tank in France in World War I. My father served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II, the Korea War and Vietnam War. My oldest brother was a MASH [Mobile Army Surgical Hospital] helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and his wife was a MASH nurse. Next brother was U.S. Air Force, killed on active duty. Next brother was U.S. Army. I joined the USMC. Family business.
How has your military service influenced who you are today?
I enlisted at a young age and was immediately put on the fast track to adulthood. Honor, dignity, respect and appreciation for freedom are part of my Marine Corps and core.
When it comes to discussing service with a veteran, what advice would you offer citizens who have not served?
Be sincere in your rapport. You are asking to learn more and to understand. I would stay away from discussion on combat and war, though, unless they want to share that. Just be sincere.