A local Marine said veterans don’t serve for the recognition, they do so because their country needs them.
The history of service in Tom Huxtable’s family goes all the way back to his Grandpa, who fought in the Army in the Spanish-American War.
“Two hundred and fifty years that people have been fighting for the freedom, that you and I enjoy today,” Marine Tom Huxtable said.
Huxtable loves military history, and he’s part of it.
“This is just like what I carried, when I was on active duty,” Huxtable said.
He signed up for the Marines, just two years, after his older brother.
“Brothers by blood, brothers by the Corp,” Huxtable said.
He spent his 18th birthday in boot camp.
“It’s a life changing event,” Huxtable said.
“There’s a confidence that is instilled, in boot camp, that is just hard to match,” Huxtable said.
At the time Huxtable served, our country was not at war, but there was plenty to keep the Marines busy.
“That’s what I did, all day long, was run those punch card machines,” Huxtable said.
He was in data processing, and is amazed at how far technology has come, especially when you consider you have a computer in the palm of your hand.
“This has more computing power, more storage unit, than the first computer I ran, and we thought we were hot stuff,” Huxtable said.
He said the skills he gained in the military, really paid off.
“I came back and went to work for a business here in Wichita, in data processing, and eventually went to computers,” Huxtable said.
He said he got far more than a career from the Corp.
“I’ve had veterans from other branches of service say, ah man, I wish we had something like you Marines have, and I said what do you mean,” Huxtable said. “Two of you get together and it is like you are brothers, I can’t help but say what is your point, because we are!”
He’s very proud of the monument at the Wichita Veterans Memorial Park, that pays tribute to the Marines, and to the sacrifices troops make.
“I wouldn’t take a million dollars for the experience, but I wouldn’t do it again for a million dollars either,” Huxtable said.
He spends quite a bit of time at the park, where he’s a long-time board member and volunteer.
“For the families of our fallen soldiers, keep their memory alive by telling their story,” Huxtable read from a card left at Wichita Veterans Memorial Park.
He said it’s all about sharing those stories of true heroes.
“I think people need to come down here and reflect on that,” Huxtable said.
The Park gives Huxtable a chance to continue serving others.
“Once a Marine, always a Marine, absolutely,” Huxtable said.
He passed on the pride, he said is difficult to explain, to his son, who joined the Marines.
He is also for his grandson, who served in the Army.
Both son and grandson carried on a family tradition, that dates back generation.
“Not only did they do it 250 years ago, they’re still doing it,” Huxtable said.
If you want more information about the Wichita Veterans Memorial Park and special programs, click here.