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thedrifter
05-03-09, 09:49 AM
Hayfield's Reynolds named 'Marine of the Year'

By Herald staff (Contact) | Austin Daily Herald

Published Saturday, May 2, 2009



Staff Sgt. Vince Reynolds of Hayfield has been awarded the honorable title of “Marine of the Year.”

Reynolds has served his country throughout two separate enlistments; the first being from 1986-1993, and he has currently been enlisted since January of 2007.

“My father and uncles were marines,” said Reynolds, “and it was just kind of ingrained in my mind that that’s what I was going to do.”

He followed through with that plan, heading to boot camp only nine days after finishing high school.

Reynolds has traveled around the world throughout his time in the service, having just returned from a tour in his 20th country, Djibouti, Africa. He revealed that his most fun tour was his very first, which included going to Egypt, Rome and Paris. From those first travels, Reynolds said he became interested in history.

Upon returning home, he decided to get his college degree in teaching for social studies and American history. Along with teaching, he also took up coaching football and track at Hayfield High School.

After leaving the service in 1993, Reynolds said he always hoped to re-enlist. Last year, he left for another tour in Djibouti, acting as the platoon sergeant for a provision security company and also as a civil affairs coordinator in a village along the Somali border. In explaining the trip, he simply stated, “It’s Africa. But it was a good opportunity, and I got to meet a lot of good people.”

In mid-February, still located in Djibouti, Reynolds got a 5 a.m. knock on his door. His initial thoughts were that something was wrong, but his thoughts couldn’t have been more off.

He was informed that his unit had submitted him for “Marine of the Year,” and that he was chosen throughout five different levels of competition out of all the United States Marine Corps.

“It’s just a shock, I still can’t believe it,” Reynolds said. “It’s very humbling because I have served with a lot of good marines, and I don’t think I necessarily deserve it or outshined anybody else, but somebody apparently did.” He commented that it was also very important to know, “…it’s an honor. I give credit to all the marines in my platoon. They worked hard, and their success reflected on me.”

He has already received many plaques, certificates, monetary awards, and the Navy Marine Corp Achievement Medal for the accomplishment, but will be flown to either Washington D.C. or New Orleans, the location for the Marine Forces Reserved Command Headquarters, for another awards ceremony.

In mid-September, Staff Sgt. Reynolds will be heading to Iraq for yet another tour lasting six to seven months on a volunteer basis. “Iraq will be the tour I was hoping to be able to take after re-enlisting,” Reynolds said.

After that tour though, he will return home to his wife and children, most likely staying in the Marine Corp Reserves and plans to begin teaching at Hayfield High School again in the fall of 2010.

Ellie