July 2013: Sound Off! Letter of the Month
On May 10, 2013, Private First Class William B. Polk II graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as a third-generation Marine. Among the family and friends attending graduation were his father, Major Morgan M. Polk, USMC (Ret); grandfather, Sergeant Wil-liam “Ben” Polk, USMC-1948; and Maj Herbert “Fritz” Werner, USMC (Ret)—all of whom were MCRD San Diego graduates. Because of his family legacy, PFC Polk, who was recruited in Tampa, Fla., was given the opportunity to become a Marine at MCRD San Diego.
Morgan Polk graduated from MCRD San Diego in 1982 and became an intelligence specialist, and then an intelligence officer under the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. He retired in 2002 and continues service as a special consultant at U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa.
In 1948, Ben Polk finished recruit training in San Diego and served an administrative tour on the depot. He then was designated a military policeman and assigned to Adak, Alaska. After leaving the Corps, the senior Polk served more than a decade in the Illinois General Assembly. On retirement, he became a political science professor at Edison College in Fort Myers, Fla. He currently volunteers with numerous community service organizations when he is not assaulting the beaches from his Corvette convertible in St. Petersburg.
Also enlisting in 1948, Fritz Werner met Ben Polk in receiving barracks, and they have been like family ever since. Fritz fondly recalls his emancipation from Boys Town in Omaha, Neb., to find a new home in the Marine Corps. Werner served in Korea and Vietnam, earning Silver and Bronze Stars, as well as three Purple Hearts. During his 37 years in the Corps, he was stationed at both recruit depots and was the longest-sitting director of Drill Instructor School in San Diego. Werner also had a full career in the California correctional system and as a professional boxing referee and judge.
The Polks hope to continue the family legacy and wish PFC Polk the best as he attends Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-West and the Basic Reconnaissance Course.
Maj Morgan M. Polk, USMC (Ret)
MacDill AFB, Fla.