A Coach's Life Before Football

January 31, 2012
By Tyshawn GOLD, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Tyshawn GOLD, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
13 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its power of acting and reasoning as fear."
-Edmund Burke

Assistant football coach, John Westervelt, served nine years as a United States Marine Corps reserve. Coach West is a short and stocky individual, who from first glance there is complete homage. Unfortunately, for Coach West he entered the Marines due to economical/financial struggles, but never let that keep him down. Coach West never went to war but enjoyed his time serving his country. He did not fear war because as a Marine he understood that there could be war at any time. The USMC understands their responsibilities to the United States of America. They are the best trained and the most respected military force in the world. War is the reason the USMC exist and the optimism is that it will never be used. Coach Westervelt’s status in the Marine’s was that he was an avionic technician. He worked with F-18, F-4, CH 46, and CH 53. He worked with the gun ships in particular, Fleet Marino Force Pacific.

Many associate the Marine’s with vigorous and unyielding work. Most people have pleasant and unpleasant experiences; lucky for Coach West they are all good. Many of his challenges and tribulation were tough. One of his most trying adversities was the Marine Corps boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina. Coach West states, “Mine and every other Marine’s favorite quote is the Marine Corps Motto, ‘Sempre Fidelis’ or ‘Semper Fi’ which means always faithful.” This term or motto was assimilated to voice loyalty and commitment to their Marine comrades-in-arms. Marines are seen to be fearless and they try their best to stay faithful to that perception. This is why stories are sometimes shared that a Marine has jumped on a grenade. One of his more jovial experiences was going to Top Gun Merimar Air Station, San Diego and the when he was deployed to the Philippines Islands. Despite all the good times the Marine Corps is a military force. Marines’ daily life is obviously from the average person. The USMC is a force of readiness, which meant that they needed to be ready for war at a moment’s notice. They live in the “now.” Nothing was put off for the future or “tomorrow.”

Coach West loves the thought of being called a Marine. He realizes that it is a very prestigious title. Every person who wishes to join the USMC is not accepted and cannot measure to the standard of the Corps. He earned the title because he served the United States with honor and dedication. Even his views on war differ from the average Marine. He in contrast say, “I believe war is necessary and should only be used as a last resort for protection of the Home Land and its people. I do not believe war should be used as a vehicle for financial gain, which unfortunately it is in today’s society!”

The Marines is a prestigious group made of brave and chivalrous individuals, who deserved more affection and respect. They risk their lives daily so America can continue to be called and quote “The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.” It was a pleasure divulging into Coach West’s insight as a retired and venerated United States Marine Corps member.

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