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Stories of Honor: Eric Riley, Marine Corps

November 11, 2023

Stories of Honor: Eric Riley, Marine Corps

On Veterans Day, we recognize all those who have bravely served our country and sacrificed to protect our citizens and countless others around the globe.

We have hundreds of team members at PSA who are active duty or military veterans. We thank them for their courage and dedication to selflessly defend our freedoms.

We recognize and value their training and know their experience makes PSA a stronger team. Our commitment to attracting military veterans shows through programs such as the Military Transition Program, which provides a pathway for maintenance technicians to enter commercial aviation. We also actively recruit at events for military members, such as the RTAG National Convention.

Our efforts have been recognized by Viqtory Inc., a company who helps transitioning military members find civilian careers. We are honored to announce we have been named a Military Friendly Employer for the fourth straight year.

We have veterans across every workgroup at PSA. We invited these team members to share their stories about their military experiences. Eric Riley, an aviation Parts Specialist from the CLT Stores Department, tells us about his time in the Marine Corps and what it meant to him:

I enlisted with the Marine Corps in 1986 and went to boot camp in August 1986 (hottest part of the year at Parris Island). I graduated boot camp in November of that year and after boot camp, I spent the remainder of my time stationed at Camp Lejeune where I had two other cousins also stationed. While at Lejeune, my division spent the majority time traveling to other countries, where we would train with military units from other countries.

I served with a Cold Weather Infantry Battalion 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines of the 2nd Marine Division. Every other year, we went to cold weather training that started out in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in Bridgeport, Calif. and took us to Ft McCoy in Wisconsin, an Army base, and finally to Norway for Arctic weather training. I guess that’s why I enjoy cold weather and take an annual trip out to the Utah or Montana mountains for a week of snowmobiling.

Throughout my Marine Corps enlistment, our division did a lot of traveling. I spent time in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand and spent a year in Okinawa, Japan. My time in Okinawa was very rewarding as I was the first Corporal E4 ever to be selected to attend Jungle Environment Survival Instructor school. That school was always only for Sgts E5 and above, up in the Northern Training area of Okinawa. I also became a Rappel Master by attending the Rappel Masters course. My job as an instructor was to train groups of Marines in the jungle environment as they funneled through the week-long course. It was really gratifying to see the Marines come together and achieve confidence as they overcame fears and conquered a challenging week-long course in the jungle. At the end of the week, they had learned how to rig up a cliff to rappel down the cliff.

The four years that I spent in the Marine Corps was a great experience and I would not trade that time for anything.

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