Veteran Couple Continues Loyalty To Marines
(April 1, 2010)
J.T. White, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant, shares stories and a cup of
coffee with Staff Sgt. Eric D. Zaleski, a heavy equipment operator with Marine
Wing Support Squadron 274, at the Aerial Port of Embarkation, March 11, 2010.
||Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (MCN
-3/26/2010) — When Marines enlist, they write a
check payable for the amount of their life, if
necessary. Leathernecks dedicate years of their
lives and even their own freedom to protect the
American way of life.
But for one New Bern couple, service to country
and Corps didn't stop when they traded utilities
for civilian attire.
Five years ago, Nancy and J.T. White received a
phone call from a chaplain aboard Cherry Point.
Marines and Sailors had been waiting at the air
station's Aerial Port of Embarkation for nearly
six hours without any food or water. The veteran
couple, members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post
2514 in New Bern, N.C., immediately took action.
They made sandwiches for the troops, packed
their car and drove to Cherry Point, eager to do
Nancy, a former Marine Corps sergeant, and J.T.,
a retired gunnery sergeant, have supported
almost every major troop movement through Cherry
Point ever since, with food donated by local
“We wish we could do more,” said J.T. “I don't
think most people realize what these young kids
are doing out here.”
At 3 a.m., most people are still in bed
sleeping, but on any given day the Whites are
busy preparing snacks and drinks for deploying
Marines and Sailors. The couple's mission is not
complete until the service members board the
“Our favorite part of everything we do is serving our military members,” said
Nancy. “Being out here with the Marines before they deploy is where our hearts
The Whites go beyond giving Marines and Sailors snacks and drinks. They also
offer a listening ear, a pen pal and above all, friendship.
The couple's love
for the Naval services has spread throughout the entire White family. They have
three children serving as Marines and a son who is a Navy corpsman.
Nancy S. White, a former Marine Corps sergeant, speaks to Kimberly A. Stigler,
an armory chief with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, as she waits for her
squadron to deploy overseas, March 11, 2010. White and her husband often bring
drinks and snacks to Marines waiting to deploy from the Aerial Port of
||“We saw our daughter deploy out of Cherry
Point,” said Nancy. “It hits close to home when
things like that happen.”
As service member's grab snacks, coffee and
water, the Whites make a point to thank them for
their service and tell the Marines and Sailors
to come home safely.
“I didn't have this kind of support when I was
in the service,” said J.T. “I don't want our
service members to say that.”
“It's really nice when you're getting ready to
deploy and someone is taking their time to say
thank you,” said Sgt. Craig M. White, a bulk
fuel specialist with Marine Wing Support
Squadron 273. “This is my third deployment and
there is always someone out here.”
The Whites have donated their time for five years now and
have no intentions of stopping.|
Their message of giving has also spread, with other members
of the VFW donating time to say goodbye to the troops as
“The Marines thank us for what we are doing, but we are the
ones thanking them,” said J.T.
Article and photos by USMC Pfc. Samantha H. Arrington
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Marine Corps News
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