Corps Legend's Name Is Carried On
(July 13, 2010)
|MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO (MCN - 7/8/2010) — He is tired and
feeling the slight pang of hunger set in, covered in camouflage face paint
and sweat, yet, Rct. Terry Hathcock, Platoon 1074, Company D, sits extremely
disciplined. His back straight as a board, his eyes straight ahead. |
Though his drill instructors are making him a Marine, discipline also runs
in his family.
“I was about eight years old when I found out about my cousin,” said
Hathcock, as a slim white smile begins to form in the midst of green and
black face paint. “One of my friends read it in a book and asked me about
him. I had no clue who he was so I went home and asked my grandpa.”
Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock found out he was related to a Marine Corps
GySgt. Hathcock was a Marine Corps sniper with 93 confirmed kills during
Vietnam. He set the record for longest combat kill of 2,500 yards in 1967
and held that record until 2002. His confirmed kills, enthusiastic
commitment and remarkable details of each operation he accepted made him the
legend that he is known as today.
“The way my grandpa explained it to me is I'm (Hathcock's) third cousin,”
said the Dallas native. “Growing up he would tell me little things about
Carlos here and there.”
Though joining the Marine Corps was something the Duncanville High School
alumni always wanted to do, after graduating his senior year he found a job
as a dock worker loading at a freight company.
“I was working at a trucking company right out of high school, the pay was
good so it took be a little while to realize that serving my country as a
Marine was what I really wanted to do.”
The 23 year-old first stepped on the yellow footprints back in February, but
due to a broken hand, he was dropped from Co.L into a medical rehabilitation
platoon and then finally assigned to his current platoon with Co. D.
“As soon as I got to this platoon, most of the drill instructors knew I was
related to the gunnery sergeant so they put a lot of pressure on me because
of that,” said the second oldest child of four. “They put me in that shadow,
but it makes me want to better myself, it's a pair of pretty big shoes to
fill but I'm not intimidated.”
Hathcock's unwavering sense of pride in his self and the family name is
something people notice.
“When he broke his hand, he wrote he wasn't coming home until he was a
Marine,” said his wife Shanna Hathcock. “I think very highly of him. He
always gives one hundred percent. He is very loyal and honest.”
As others around Hathcock take note of his character, he holds one
leadership trait close to his heart.
“Without loyalty I believe all the others fall away,” said Hathcock. “For
example, if I wasn't loyal to my wife and I cheated on her how could I be
loyal to anything else? It would affect my job and other areas of my life.”
As Hathcock marches across the parade deck today and takes his place among
the ranks of United States Marines, he will not be placing his feet in the
shoes of his cousin, but more so stepping beside them.
“Everyone knows him as a (legend), I look up to him and I want to push
myself to do the same thing.”
Hathcock is an expert rifleman, and shot a 334 on the range, missing the
range high score by one point.
“I was really happy he scored that high,” said Staff Sgt. Fernando Lopez,
senior drill instructor, platoon 1074, Co. D. “He's a Marine's Marine. He's
very humble but he speaks up if something is wrong, and he's always looking
out for his brothers. I'm very proud of him.”
Article and photo by USMC Cpl. Frances Candelaria
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
Marine Corps News
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