Lieutenant Col. Jason L. Nickerl, Deputy Director of Recruiting, Western Recruiting Region, was honored at his retirement ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, May 20. His retirement was bittersweet because as he leaves the Corps, he watched his son graduate recruit training and fill his footsteps.
Periodically, a few of us “old Marines” from the Los Angeles area will drive down to MCRD, San Diego to witness a Friday graduation. We have been doing this 2 or 3 times a year for a while. Our main goal has been to witness our graduating Marines and watch the last time their Drill Instructors dismiss their platoons… their families will rush to hug, kiss and greet their young Marine. We try and find the Marines whose families could not make the trip out to be part of the graduation ceremonies and will go out and congratulate them… we try and make their day just as special. A few weeks ago, on our journey, we were part of a very special day for the family of Lt. Col Nickeri… This gave me goosebumps!