Father's Past Motivates New Marine
(January 10, 2011)
For Recruit Kyle Schutter, Platoon 2134, Company F, 2nd
Recruit Training Battalion, it was his father, a veteran who
was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during the
“I've been striving to become a Marine
ever since I was 12,” said Schutter. “I decided I want to go
through the same basic training my father endured over 30
Before Schutter enlisted in the Marine
Corps, he worked for the parks and recreation district for
four years in his hometown of Oak Park, Ill. He was an
electrician, plumber and general maintenance worker.
According to Schutter, the district functions on 20
different locations, and its purpose is to keep
the buildings safe, up to code and looking good.
When the district heard that
Recruit Kyle Schutter, Platoon 2134, Company
F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, performs
crunches during his final physical fitness test
before graduating from boot camp, Dec. 23, 2010.
Crunches are the second part of a three-part
test that recruits take during boot camp, and
annually once they become Marines.
Schutter was joining the Marines they
made him an offer they thought he wouldn't refuse.
The offer that was set on the table was full benefits and
$50,000 a year, which could set him up set up him for a
potentially comfortable life. Regardless, Schutter gave this
up to join the Marines.
“It wasn't a hard question of
whether I was going to give it up or not,” said Schutter. “I
had worked there for four years without benefits,
seasonally, so giving it up wasn't that big of a deal to
Schutter used to watch the History Channel. The
stories of the infantrymen were a big motivator to him,
especially “Band of Brothers.” Along with the programs on
television, he had his father's past as a motivator.
“About three months before I left for boot camp, I went
rummaging through my father's desk at work,” said Schutter.
“In one of the drawers I found his Bronze Star. He had never
talked about his experiences much, so I asked him about it.”
Schutter's father was drafted during the Vietnam War and
was trained as an M60 machine gunner. His father was on
patrol outside of a main artillery firing base when his
platoon came under enemy attack. Without thinking of his own
safety he threw down continuous, heavy fire and gas grenades
repelling the enemy, said Schutter.
His actions saved
his platoon and the men of the forward artillery base they
were defending. This led to him receiving the Bronze Star,
according to Schutter. He continues to serve his country by
working for the Department of Veterans Affairs as the chief
of staff of Hines Blind Center, Melrose Park, Ill.
While Schutter was still at home with his parents, he helped
out at the Hines Blind Center.
“I visit his work all
the time,” said Schutter. “It's really inspiring to see all
the veterans who still love this country with all they
Schutter said that when the veterans heard about
him wanting to join the Marines, they gave him many
supporting stories, and that was another big motivation for
Schutter wanted to join as a basic infantryman
because of all the experiences he had heard about, but
instead received the military occupational specialty of
security forces. He wants to move to infantry when the
opportunity presents itself.
Schutter said that is
goal of his is to help others around him more than himself.
What inspired him was his father, who was a model of
selflessness. Schutter also wants to experience the
brotherhood that the Marine Corps builds.
want to be deployed,” said Schutter. “I've been told that
the camaraderie runs deeper then. You can rely on the guy
right next to you, even while in boot camp, and I've heard
that it only gets better when you're deployed.”
Article and photo by USMC Pfc. Katalynn M. Thomas
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego
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