MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a special visit to the depot Aug. 1.
On vacation in California, Perry wanted to tour the depot to witness recruit training highlights and visit with fellow Texans in uniform and their families, according to Capt. Darren S. Szerdy, depot protocol officer.
“My visit was every bit of special as I thought it would be,” said Perry. “The weather was perfect and the Marines were phenomenal. The hospitality was Texas-style.”
After greeting depot mascot Cpl. Molly Marine, Perry observed the Friday morning Colors Ceremony where he began meeting friends and families of Company B.
After the ceremony, Perry took photos with Texas families visiting the depot to see their new Marines graduate after boot camp.
Perry, who served as an Air Force pilot for five-years, then headed to the depot’s 60-foot rappel tower to watch Company I recruits face their fear of heights.
The governor then met Brig. Gen. Angie Salinas, commanding general, MCRD San Diego and Western Recruiting Region, for breakfast at Quarters One.
“We are honored to have had him here,” said Brig. Gen. Salinas.
Brig. Gen. Salinas, along with Parade Reviewing Officer, Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations West, accompanied the governor to watch more than 200 young Americans become Marines.
After graduation, Perry met with several Texas-born Marines like Pfc. Matthew White and Pvt. Adam Hudson from Company B, and Staff Sgt. Christopher Wheeler, seniordrill instructor, 1st Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment.
“It was an honor to meet him,” said Wheeler, a native of Santa Fe, Texas. “He’s a good guy with good values and a family man. It was a morale-boosting experience.”
Many families waited in line to meet the governor and express their support. Perry returned his thanks.
“I enjoyed every minute of this. I’m glad I got to come here.”