#FarrisStory: 'Integrity is a bucket that you can only fill once'

"My youth was somewhat misspent. I lacked direction, drive and a purpose. So, on a whim, I joined the United States Marines Corps and left Columbia, MO behind me. Eventually, I ended up at a Marine Detachment ("MarDet") in Norfolk, VA where I met a Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) that I will simply call 'Gunny.' Gunny was an African-American son of a share cropper. What Gunny lacked in formal education, he certainly made up for in common sense. There are two things that Gunny passed on to me that I will always carry with me.....one, 'Integrity is a bucket that you can only fill once.' Wow. Imagine being a young impressionable farm boy, fresh out of Infantry School standing in front of this towering mountain of a man who spoke like a philosopher. The other thing that Gunny taught me was 'Indecision will kill you quicker than the wrong decision.' Another 'WOW' moment in a young Private First Class's life. With Gunny's guidance and fatherly advice, I made it to Corporal (E-4) in three years. I am now 62 and Gunny's wisdom still guides me in my day-today life.

Semper Fi Gunny, wherever you are!" - Marshall from Grand Coulee, WA