MAMARONECK, N.Y. As Richard Kelley watched the ceremonial burning of American Flags in disrepair at a Veterans Day Ceremony over the weekend, he reflected on what those flags represent just two weeks before leaving for Okinawa, Japan for a two-year tour with the Marine Corps.
The Mamaroneck resident, 22, has spent the last year preparing for his tour of duty since enlisting September of 2010, beginning with boot camp in Parris Island, S.C. Kelley said he decided to join the Marine Corps because he, "wanted to do something with my life."
The 2007 Rye Neck High School graduate then went to Congers, N.C. for one year of combat training, followed by three months in Military Occupational School. There, he learned about his job, which will be a Marine artilleryman for the 12th Marine Division.
Prior to enlisting, Kelley was a volunteer for the Village of Mamaroneck Fire Department's Mamaro Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1. He said he enjoyed the brief time he spent at home with family and friends.
On Veterans Day, he paid his respects to veterans past and present, at the American Legion Post 90 ceremony. Several speakers, including Post Commander Ed Murray, wished Kelley luck on his coming tour in Japan.
Although Kelley doesn't know all of the specifics of his new job, he said he is looking forward to experiencing something new in another part of the world.
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