We are so excited to introduce our very first veteran of the week, Jamie Taylor!
Branch: U.S. Marines
Age Joined: 17
Years Served: 5
Born and raised here in Johnson City, Jamie made the heroic decision to join the United States Marine Corps at the young age of only 17. After 5 years of dedicated service to our country, he is now back home in the Tri-Cities, doing what he loves pursuing the American dream. You might see Jamie revving it up on two wheels around town, or you can stop in at Smith Brothers Harley Davidson on the Bristol Highway and say hello!
What made you want to serve our country?
My grandfather was a Marine as well and I truly wanted to do something different than everyone else.
What advice would you give someone looking to go into the military?
Prepare your mind, body and soul for some of the most difficult, fun and truly unique challenges of your life.
What is your favorite quote?
I have two: From my old company first sergeant, “You pay the price for the life you choose.” and “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but if you do, don’t name it after me!”
Did you make any close friendships while in the service? Did you continue any of those relationships?
Oh yes, Plenty! I’m still in almost daily contact with some of them! I consider them brothers and I can’t go without talking to them or taking the ride down to Georgia or North Carolina to see them.
What was the best and worst ‘military’ food you were served?
Worst? Definitely the veggie omelet MRE. Best? Probably the lumpia from the Philippines. SO GOOD.
Tell us a funny story you experienced that could only happen in the military.
Watching a 19 year old kid get dragged across a range by our Sgt Maj for driving so fast that the guys in the back of the truck were flying around and slamming into each other. Too funny!
How does your military experience affect your life today?
Sometimes it can be hard to feel accepted and it can definitely be difficult to adjust to what everyone else considers normal, but it also keeps me goal-oriented and disciplined when I need to be.
Do you recall the day your service ended? Where were you?
I was on Camp Lejeune with my truck packed up. I signed my DD-214, hugged my boys and stopped at the gate to mess with the MP’s one last time.
What did you do in the days and weeks afterward?
Searched for a job, caught up on things I missed and tried to decompress and let it sink in that I was out and on my own for good.
Where did you travel while in the service?
All over the Pacific and Eastern Europe. I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for two years and Romania for a year.
Why did you pick the service branch you joined?
My grandfather was a Marine, but mostly because I wanted to carry on the legacy of every Marine before me.
Do you recall your first days in service?
Most of it was a blur, but I definitely remember some of the most difficult days and some of the most funny things you can imagine.
Was there something special you did for “good luck”?
Nothing particular, but I had a ritual of listening to the same two songs as we left the wire. In order, it was “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer
and “Gold On The Ceiling” by The Black Keys.
Did you work or go back to school?
I went to work. Did a few different things until I found my calling. I work in the Service Department at Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson. It’s not even a job to me. I love what I do and I get paid to do it!
Is there anything you would like to add?
I want to thank y’all for nominating me. It’s truly a blessing. And if you or any of your readers want to ride or want to learn, come see me at Smith Brothers!
By: Jaclyn Law