Interview with a Veteran- Joe Garcia
Q: At what age did you enlist in the military?
Q: What made you choose to enlist in the military?
A: When I was a kid, I remember seeing a State Trooper in my neighborhood. I was AMAZED by his uniform and his presence. I asked him what I needed to do to become one, and he told me to join the Marines…….
Q: What was your branch of service, rank and MOS?
A: USMC, E-4/Corporal, 0311/Infantry Rifleman
Q: Where did you serve?
A: Iraq, Republic of Georgia and stateside I was stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC and Twentynine Palms, CA
Q: Tell me about your time at bootcamp: What was your first day like? What was the funniest or most memorable thing to happen during basic training?
A: It was the most amazing time of my life, I really mean that. I had a BLAST!!! Given the scrutiny on hazing right now, i’ll stay away from telling stories. LOL! It was AMAZING!!
Q: What was the worst MRE meal you had to eat and what was the best?
A: Worst: None, I always positioned myself to make sure I selected good ones or I traded for a good one lol.
Best, Spaghetti with meat sauce was my favorite.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out you were being deployed?
A: Let’s GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (Screaming as I flexed my muscles like the hulk)
Q: Tell me about your first experience landing overseas and getting to your base. Was it a total culture shock for you? Were the civilians friendly or hostile towards your unit?
A: It was not a culture shock at all. The Marine Corps does a phenomenal job recreating the overseas environment during training so it almost felt like we were “still training.” The adults weren’t too bad. They didn’t talk to us, just stayed out of our way. The teens pebbled us with rocks from every direction, it sucked.
Q: What were the living conditions like for you while stationed in Iraq
A: When we were stationed in Iraq, we occupied an old school. I didn’t shower for the first 2.5 months…… it sucked.
Q: Did you ever get homesick? And what did you miss most about home and the United States?
A: No, I had my family with me.
Q: What food did you crave the most?
A: Chinese food
Q: On average, how much sleep did you get each night?
A: 4 hours
Q: What was/were your primary weapon(s) you carried with you?
A: M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
Q: How much weight did you carry including weapons and all of your protective gear?
A: I would say 125 pounds
Q: Tell me about someone from your unit who helped or positively impacted you during your time overseas.
A: My senior Marines as a whole did a great job preparing us, I couldn’t boil it down to ONE specific person.
Q: Do you keep in contact with anyone you were stationed with?
A: Oh yes!
Q: What was it like transitioning from military life to civilian life once you came back to the US? What was your biggest obstacle you faced?
A: It wasn’t too bad…… my biggest obstacle was figuring out who “Joe” was going to be next…..
Q: How has your time spent in the Military affected your life? Did you gain skills and training that have helped benefit you in the business world?
A: The discipline and leadership skills I received from Marines has helped tremendously.
Q: What made you decide to run the Grunts Move Junk in Massachusetts?
A: Mitch Durfee, we just clicked. Great leader to learn from. It all clicked and made sense.
Q: What advice would you give to someone just entering the Military?
A: Go to college first, become an Officer. Enlisted SUCKS!!
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just getting out of the MIlitary?
A: Keep the momentum going, don’t become stagnant!
Q: What does the American flag mean to you?