On their final days in the Corps, most Marines spend their time finishing their check out and packing to head on to the next chapter of life.
Billy Jay Younger, previously a corporal with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, spent his final days as an active duty Marine volunteering with the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Single Marine Program at one of the largest country music festivals in Arizona, Country Thunder USA.
â€œMy last few days in the Marine Corps at Country Thunder were a blast! I couldn’t have thought of any better way to go out then listening to great American country music,â€ said Billy Jay.
Billy grew up near the farm lands and cranberry marshes of Wisconsin and has always had a love for country music.
â€œI choose to do this trip because I have a strong passion for country music and I saw it as a great opportunity to go see some of the artists I grew up listening to,â€ Billy added. â€œI really appreciate what the artists and bands do and the songs they sing. Country is one of the last pure genres left in music.â€
There is one thing in his life even stronger than his love for music, his love and loyalty to his family, leading him to both his decision to join and leave the Marine Corps.
â€œI decided to join to keep my family name in the service. Both my grandfather and father served as US Marines, and me being the oldest of three boys I saw it as my duty to join,â€ said Billy Jay. â€œI was never pressured by my dad or grandpa to join, it was all my choice and the bond my dad and grandpa have as father and son is one I want with my dad.â€
Despite his lineage in the Corps, his desire to be near the ones he loves is the most important.
â€œI’m leaving the Marines because I’m a family man, a mommaâ€™s boy and want to be there for my brothers when they need me,â€ he added devotedly. â€œOne of the things I’m most looking forward to is seeing my family again, not missing out on birthdays and being the brother I’m supposed to be.â€
Although eager to get back to his family and his roots, Billy Jay speaks fondly of his time and experiences as a Marine.
â€œI will probably miss all the people I’ve met in the Corps. The bond you have with the people you meet in the Marines is so much closer than the one you have with your friends from high school.