Enjoying some off time in the best way that we know how.

Few things are more fun to me than going on a hunting trip. The only thing that makes it better; being surrounded by some of the best individuals this country has produced; United States Marine Corps Infantrymen – current and former.

 

I sat down with Gabe Castleberry, our Executive Director, over a camp fire after a long, freezing cold day of hunting. He reminded me why the 03XX Foundation has such a strong grassroots following. Here is, in his words, the reason we exist and why our mission is critical for our community.

 

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Author Ross Nussbaum in Marjah, Afghanistan, 2011

At the 03XX Foundation, our mission is to provide peer-to-peer mentorship to Infantry Marine Veterans and Navy Corpsman who’ve served in an Infantry Unit. We do this through our case management system; a Marine or Corpsman contacts us for help and we connect them to one of our expert volunteers who helps find them real solutions to solve their problems. One the Career Transition side, the one consistent theme I see in our community is that we don’t know how to manage our personal story in a way that a civilian employer can understand. This is not a skill that we’re taught or that comes naturally.

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Curtis was born in 1984 and grew up near Arlington, Virginia. He grew in a military family and had an appreciation and interest in military service from a young age. Curtis originally joined the Marine Corps with the intention of working as an aviation crew chief but then switched to the infantry occupation field.

After Parris Island and training at Camp Geiger, earning the 0311 MOS, Curtis joined Kilo 3/6 in 2003. Curtis first deployed to Afghanistan, operating in Asadabad and Gardaz, in 2004. Upon his return, he was selected to join Scout/Sniper Platoon, working as a radio operator, and deployed to Al Qaim, Iraq. Curtis again returned to Kilo Company, this time as a squad leader. He deployed near Husaybah, Iraq for a final deployment as a line platoon squad leader.

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brooks-cycle-panorama

A couple of weeks ago LB (03XX Director of Operations) was out blanketing the Centreville, VA area with flyers for a charity bike wash. While stopping into all of the local motorcycle businesses he walked into Brooks’ Cycle Center and saw a large Marine Corps flag hanging behind the desk. It wasn’t your standard flag. It was one of those nice ones with the gold fringe around it. Come to find out the owner of Brooks’ Cycle Center is a Marine Veteran and is an 0311 (Jason Brooks).

While speaking with Jason he shared his story of all the trials and tribulations in the job market after he got out of the Marine Corps. As an 0311 he kept charging the hill. He had a day job but also helped fix motorcycles out of his jeep in his spare time to make extra money for his family. A little over a year ago he took the leap and started his own business. When LB stopped in there was a buzz around the shop and there were several bikes out front awaiting service.

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