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Lance Cpl. Jonathan Rockey, a data systems specialist with the help desk, Combat Logistics 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, poses for a photo aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C ., January 22, 2011. Rockey, a native Rochester, Ind., left his small-town roots to carry on the tradition of military service.

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

2nd generation Marine leaves small town roots

25 Feb 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

From the quiet streets of Indiana, to the hectic pace of Marine Corps life, Lance Cpl. Jonathon Rockey managed to make it a smooth transition in joining his family business of serving his country.

“I grew up in a military family and always wanted to serve my country,” said the data systems specialists with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “Although it took me longer to get there, it was worth the wait.”

The wait he refers to is his age; he is 27 years old. Since he didn’t think he was ready for the commitment, Rockey worked several jobs in factories around his neighborhood, and waited a little longer to join than most of his military-heavy family. He eventually made the jump to Camp Lejeune, which has more than five times the population of his hometown of Rochester, Ind.

Though he missed the small-town atmosphere, the transition was easy due to the support he received from his family full of service members. Their guidance prepared him well for the journey that lay ahead. The military influence in his life turned him on to studying the history of the Corps long before standing on the yellow footprints of recruit depot.

“Every part of our long, distinguished history interests me,” he said. “I’ve always been a pretty big history buff, coming from a military family. When other kids were reading children’s books, I was reading books about military wars, weapons, aircrafts and armor.”

Even though he spent hours upon hours researching the Corps, he has no one hero. He says his heroes are the men and women who leave there loved ones behind to help others thousands of miles away. “I admire the people who try hard and do the right thing even if it’s not the easiest path, those are my heroes,” said Rockey.

He credits this for reinforcing his passion for the military, along with his family, which he says is the reason he’s where he is today. His family has been there through thick and thin, mentioned Rockey, which he says helps him through the everyday grind that is associated with the Marine Corps lifestyle.

“I just try to do everything in my power to help my unit,” said Rockey. “I work until I come to a point where I can’t help no more, and if the problem hasn’t been solved, I pass it on to someone who is more knowledgeable than me.”

Aside from a long military career, Rockey has much to look forward to. He and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child – perhaps the next member of a proud family of veterans to join the ranks of their beloved Corps.


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