PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
When Sgt. Trey Bolmon awoke the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he thought it was going to be a typical day filled with classes and homework.
Little did the 19-year-old college student know, the tragic events that took place that somber day would completely change the course of his life.
“I didn’t have to be in class until 11 a.m., and I remember waking up and seeing it on the TV,” said Bolmon, now a formal schools instructor with Weapons and Field Training Battalion. “It was like an awful movie. I thought, ‘wow, is this really happening right now?’ It was unreal to me.”
After the reality of the gruesome images sank in, Bolmon said he remembered feeling shocked, infuriated, and like he had to do something monumental to help.
“I finished my semester, and in February 2002, I enrolled in the delayed-entry program. I felt like I had to do my part to seek justice for what had happened,” explained Bolmon, of Toccoa, Ga. “Two months later, I arrived on Parris Island.”
During his time in recruit training, Bolmon learned he wasn’t the only one who felt obligated to serve his country in a time
“There were platoons filled with prospect Marines who all gave a similar reason to why they were there,”
Since his graduation, July 25, 2002, Bolmon has served three tours in Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said when times were tough in combat, he never forgot why he was there.
“When I was deployed, or if I ever had doubts about my purpose overseas, I thought back to the tragic day of 9/11 and remembered what that day felt like,” Bolmon said. “It reminded me of my reasons for joining and why Marines do what they do.”
“I’m glad I joined the Marine Corps. I’m proud of what I do,” he added.
One Marine, Sgt. William Mobley, who works with Bolmon as a formal schools instructor, said he can relate to Bolmon’s reason to join the Corps.
“We both joined for the same reason,” explained Mobley, of Cherry Point, N.C. “It swayed a lot of people’s decisions to join the Corps because we felt we had a cause.
“I always wanted to join the Marine Corps, but when 9/11 happened, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Mobley said. “It gave me a reason to leave college and join.
“It gives you a great sense of pride to serve your country and the Corps,” he said.
In addition to enlisting in the Marine Corps as a result of 9/11, Mobley said becoming a Marine is something that runs in his blood.
“I’m a fourth generation Marine,” he said. “My grandfather was one of the first special forces Marines and my dad retired as a master gunnery sergeant with two tours in Vietnam under
Mobley said he and Bolmon feel the same way when it comes to their views on defending the country and the Corps. He described Bolmon’s conduct as nothing short of outstanding.
“I think Bolmon is one of the best Marines I’ve ever met,” Mobley said. “He always wants to help out Marines, so they can better themselves.”
His mother, Lyn Bolmon, remembered the day her son told her he had joined the Marine Corps and said 9/11 played a huge factor in his reasoning for such
“He was always such a quiet person, so when he told me he was joining the Marine Corps, I was in complete shock – I didn’t see it coming,” she said.
“When he saw those towers go down, he was stunned. I guess it really touched him because he decided to join the Marine Corps. He had already signed the papers when he told us,” she explained.
Every time Lyn Bolmon looks at her son, a sense of great pride overwhelms her, she said.
“I’m very proud to be his mom and to be the mother of a Marine. I stand behind him