2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam. Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today. Please take a moment to thank a Vietnam Veteran today.
These Veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country, it is our honor to serve them when they need us.
Q&A with We Honor Veteran Volunteer Mike Maddaloni
What motivated you to join the military?
When I was growing up, military service was both an obligation and a privilege. Also, my parents were immigrants and I felt very strongly that my family owed the country something for allowing us to come here.
Why the Marines?
The Marines had a great tradition and represented a significant challenge that I wanted to take on. I was young and needed to test myself.
Tell me a little about your time in boot camp.
I went through training at Parris Island and feel that the drill instructors did a great job in just three months transforming 18/19-year-olds into disciplined, effective, and highly motivated Marines who were in great shape and could hit a target 500 yards away shooting their M-14 rifles. When I look back, that was quite an achievement.
Where did you serve the majority of time in service?
I served in quite a few places, the majority on the East Coast.
What rank are you most proud to have earned, and why?
I wound up as a Sergeant and was proud because the Marines only promote to that rank if they are highly confident of the candidate.
Tell me a funny story you experienced that could only happen in the military.
Those kinds of stories are best left among veterans rather than put in writing for the world to see, but I promise to share a few with you sometime.
How does your military experience affect your life today?
I look back on it with great pride and satisfaction. It instilled in me a hard work ethic and the confidence to successfully meet the challenges I faced later.