ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Marines are very strong in their belief that once a Marine, always a Marine. Even after nearly 40 years.
One Albany retired Marine recently wanted to find to his drill instructor, who got him started as a Marine in 1980. And he managed to track him down through social media.
Joe Moored has lived in Albany for more than 30 years after serving eight years in the Marines.
Recently, Moored wanted to track down his drill instructor from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in 1980, Gunnery Sergeant Mario Sosa.
"I just wanted to thank him," said Moored.
Moored found Sosa now living in Austin, Texas and reached out to him. Sosa admitted he was concerned because drill instructors are not always popular with recruits.
"Some people had come up to me, recognized me and said, 'Hey, weren't you my drill instructor?'" said Sosa. He said he tells them "no" laughingly. "Cause you never know."
But Moored said the Marines, especially Sosa, made a big difference in his life.
"The Marine Corps instilled in me qualities and traits that you keep for the rest of your life," explained Moored. "And once you earn the title of Marine, you become a part of a very special family. A band of brothers."
Sosa's job as a drill instructor was to guide thousands of young men and women to make them Marines.
"It was in his heart. He was meant for the job. He was a good pick," said Moored.
Both retired Marines recommend military service to teens starting their adult lives, and the Marines if they are driven.
"A place of discipline, teamwork, loyalty," said Sosa. "If they are motivated, and it's in their heart, then I would recommend it."
Sosa is now a computer network engineer but admits he will always be a Marine. He still has his campaign cover and wanted to send Joe the cadence every Marine has heard from their drill instructor a thousand times to thank him.
"There you go, Joe. One for you," said Sosa.
Joe Moored is a Lieutenant with the Albany police and still passes on to young officers some of those lessons in training he learned from Sosa.
Joe was the Albany Police Officer of the Year.
Sosa and Moored said they are now making plans to reunite in person.