Name: Lyle Marston
Branch: U.S. Marines (Reserve),
Infantry Rifleman (0311)
Age Joined: 24
Years Served: 5.5
What made you want to serve our country?
My brother decided he was going and I wanted to be by my brother’s side.
What advice would you give someone looking to go into the military?
I could not be more proud of the decision I made to serve. It’s not easy, and I was pushed to my limits… and then I got stronger. I grew as a person and I learned how to adapt not only to the challenge and difficulty of being a Marine but also in my personal life with
the things that we all experience every day.
What is your favorite quote?
“Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.”
Did you make any close friendships while in the service? Did you continue any of those relationships?
The friendships I made in the military became my brothers and my sisters. I have an unspoken bond with any Marine I ever meet regardless if we’ve even met or not. Serving together literally means being ready to fight for, die for, and protect one another.
What was the best and worst ‘military’ food you were served, and why?
Haha, I used to look forward to Thursday mornings at the chow hall because at my command that meant corned beef and hash. I don’t know why I loved it so much but basically all of the breakfast food on base was steller. That and chili-mac, MRE’s, our field food, have gotten significantly better, and yet, I think everyone in my unit still tried to trade off the meal-ready-to-eat-omelette, haha.
Tell us a funny story you experienced that could only happen in the military.
Haha, well everything seems funnier as you progress through boot camp because we’re trained very carefully to hold our bearing and you would be surprised how hard it is to not laugh sometimes. Towards the end the one of the recruits in our squad held the door open for a drill instructor from the squad on the next floor above us. Now bear in mind we are trained for intensity and respect so communication is yelled and polite. So the drill instructor said ‘Go tell your drill instructor I said thank you!’. Our drill instructor then sent that recruit upstairs to tell the other thank you as well and he sent him with a gift: a small bag of chips. The recruit returned with the bag of chips and a soda and delivered the message of thank you again. This went back and forth until a second recruit was needed to help carry all the items that were being sent back and forth. Like I said, it became very difficult not to laugh. It was a rejuvenating experience for us. We had a renewed sense of energy and motivation after that.
How does your military experience affect your life today?
I still walk like I’m a sergeant and I’ve had people ask me that don’t know me if I was a Marine specifically and they said they could tell by the way you hold yourself. I very often pull mentally from the knowledge, and foundation, and perseverance that were instilled in me
throughout my entire experience especially when faced with challenges in civilian life. Ronald Reagan said ‘some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem’
Were you awarded any medals or citations? How did you get them?
I was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for learning a field system that had not previously been utilized and training a squad of Marines from different commands to be fluent enough in the system to go back to their respective units and be able to teach the information effectively to them, in two days.
Do you recall the day your service ended?
I signed up initially for a five year contract and actually put in a six month extension for testing and qualifying for an intended lateral move to a different military occupational specialty. Unfortunately I did not qualify so that marked the end of my active service and was issued my honorable discharge.
What did you do in the days and weeks afterward?
I took a few weeks to spend with loved ones and then took a job as a bartender. It was certainly a challenge to ‘find myself’ after that, after all I was comparing my new life to the one I just transitioned from. Today, I am very grateful and very excited to have found my place as a real estate agent for the Griffin Home Group through Keller Williams. I now have the opportunity again to serve the people
and guide them through what will more than likely be the biggest investment in their life. I have had the great privilege since
being a member of the Griffin Home Group team of helping military members and their families find their forever homes as well as non-military individuals and families. I am humbled to be a part of their lives and find that same unspoken bond.
Where did you travel while in the service?
From boot camp on into my duty stations and deployment I went from South Carolina, North Carolina, California, NC again, all over
the Mediterranean including Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Dubai, and many others. My traveling experiences were unmatched and an experience that I’ll never forget.
Why did you pick the service branch you joined?
In the end it was the energy and enthusiasm of the recruiter at the Johnson City, TN office that made my emotional connection. My brother and I talked before leaving and the recruiter had an assured confidence; he was proud. I remember wanting that for my own life.
Do you recall your first days in service?
I will never, ever forget my first days in boot camp, haha. Looking back on it, it was terrifying… and it still makes me smile.
Was there something special you did for “good luck”?
My brother and I joined together on the same day and chose to let them randomly assign us to our platoons. So we ended up in different platoons and wrote each other letters throughout the three months that we were in boot camp and used to draw tiny chess boards on the page and in each letter we would make a new move.
Did you work or go back to school?
I did go back to school afterwards and used the GI bill to help me through classes. And now I am very proud once again to be teamed up
with Jim Griffin – The Griffin Home Group as a Realtor. They are my new team now; my new squad. And we take care of each other. And we strive everyday to find the people and the families that we can help serve, protect, and lead, to their future.
Is there anything you would like to add that we have not covered?
At first I didn’t know how to respond when a person thanked me for my service, especially very early on. I felt a burden; a responsibility, to live up to my responsibility to each and every one of them. After just one short term that will live with me indefinitely, seeing so much of the world, the intense training, the readiness, the sacrifice on both sides… I say with a lump in my throat, that YOU are the reason we do what we do… so thank YOU.