"They tell you that you can bring an address book, $20, a driver's license and the clothes on your back," Scott Nastahowski said while sitting outside his Greenwich home.
Scott Nastahowski Jr. will be traveling light when he journeys to Parris Island, S.C., in less than two weeks...
...He is hoping to become a mechanic or combat specialist, but he is keeping his options open.
"I like working with my hands," he said. "I don't want to sit behind a desk. I want to be out there in the field.
"I have a lot of energy and I want to channel that," he added, noting that he chose the Marines because he believed it to be the most challenging of all the military organizations.
As to the physical demands of training, Nastahowski said he has been staying fit by working with a personal trainer and keeping up with an exercise schedule, in between his part-time jobs.......Nastahowski began his quest to enter the U.S. Marine Corps with a phone call in January to the local recruiter.
Sgt. Christian Mejia, U.S. Marines recruiter for the Greenwich and Stamford area, recalled his first visit to the Nastahowski home on Pilgrim Drive.
"I talked about the different options and possibilities," Mejia said. "I gave him the information and he made the decision."...
..."I think it is a great opportunity for a kid who is not furthering his education with college. The next best thing is military service," said Scott Nastahowski Sr., a Greenwich native who runs a carpet cleaning business in town. He said his respect for the Marine Corps is second to none.
"I'm happy for him," he said. "Thank God kids like him want to go in."
He said he realizes there is always the potential for danger, but he thinks having the Marine Corps in his son's background will help him with whatever he decides to do.
Nastahowski's mother, Colleen, noted that while there will always be some concern, she is "glad he is doing it."
The aspiring Marine said he is nervous about the first few weeks of training, but he remains excited about embarking on something different. "I want to travel," he said. "I want to see the world."
As to what he thinks this experience will give him, he said he believes it will further his sense of commitment and will give him a sense of pride. "I think it teaches you to feel better about yourself."
At the end of all the training, when he officially becomes a Marine, he said he will be required to serve four years of active duty, and then four years in the reserves. He also can choose to continue in the Marines.
When asked if his younger siblings, Shane and Courtney, understand what he is doing, he said: "They tell their friends that I am a Marine, but I am not one, yet."
Please send comments to GreenwichRoundup@gmail.com