View Full Version : ‘This is what I want to do':

01-03-06, 02:38 PM
‘This is what I want to do': The grandfather who inspired the dream sees it fulfilled
By DAVE SCHULTZ, Associate Editor
The Herald-Press

ROANOKE - Matt Sordelet celebrated his 23rd birthday Friday night, and the young man celebrated by fulfilling a boyhood dream.

In front of about 100 people at Roanoke American Legion Post 160, including many he didn't even know, he became 2nd Lt. Matt Sordelet, United States Marine Corps.

Sordelet entered the Marines through an officer recruitment program that seeks out qualified candidates. Sordelet graduated from the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne in mid-December; on Friday night, he raised his right hand and became an officer in the Corps.

“Why? There are a million reasons,” Sordelet said after the ceremony. He cited patriotism, he cited desire, he especially cited family, but the bottom line was - this is what he wanted to do.

“I can't see myself doing anything else,” he said. “Yes, I have a degree in business, but this is what I want to do.”

His grandfather, Bill Glover, a former commander of the Roanoke Legion post, served in the Army during the Korean War. He pinned the lieutenant's bars on his grandson, a proud moment for both men.

“He said I was his inspiration,” Glover said after the ceremony, his eyes showing his delight.

Sordelet said his grandfather told him stories about his service, and from the time he was three years old he wanted, too, to be in the military. It's about more than the family ties, however.

“I've heard my grandfather's stories, and I've always bragged about him,” the 2001 graduate of Huntington North High School said. “I want to make my grandpa proud, but that's not why I joined.”

He joined because he wanted to serve his country - and because his country needed him. Capt. Rich Barkley, who conducted the ceremony with Gunnery Sgt. Clint Clayton, noted that in his introduction.

“With the climate of the world as it is today, we need men like Matt to lead our young men and women,” he said.

Sordelet will return to Quantico, Va., where he attended the USMC's officer candidate school, for more training. He realizes that he may shortly be standing in the Middle East, his life on the line for his country.

“I knew signing those papers that I may have to be going over there,” he said. “I know and I accept that. It's my duty. I don't know how else to explain it.”

As a 2nd lieutenant, he knows that he will have responsibility for 30 to 80 Marines, depending on the size of the platoon.

“It's a huge responsibility,” he said. “I'm the type that wants that responsibility. I thrive on it.”

Sordelet is the son of Dan and Teresa Sordelet, 7821N Meridian Road.


Matt Sordelet, center, is commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps as his grandfather, Bill Glover, pins his officerÕs bars on him. At right is Capt. Rich Barclay, who conducted the ceremony Friday night in Roanoke. (Herald-Press/Dave Schultz)


01-03-06, 07:26 PM
Congrats to Matt.