In the summer of 1964, some 65 or so boys, and I say boys as we were not Men, even though some were as old as 23, arrived at Paris Island, South Carolina for what would became an adventure that would burn in our souls - an image that would last for a lifetime.
What we had heard about Paris Island and the Marine Corps would turn out to be to some a nightmare and others a life changing experience. The experience would be for most a positive one and a few a very negative one. Most of the negative folks were gone by the end of week two. Most we never new their name, and all were never seen or heard from again.
In a rewind of my brain-housing group as our DI called it, I find one Hardcastle from State and Hometown unknown all that was known was that he was tall, wore glasses and weighed about 135. Was constantly being yelled at by our Jr DI Cpl Floyd. Favorite saying of the DI was “Oh!! Horse Shit Hardcastle” Of course there was others that I can’t put on a public site.
In visiting with Bruce Hardcastle for four days, I find that the Corps was indeed a life changing experience, all for the better. Don’t think that he would mind me telling that he came from a broken home and at age 17 joined the Corps while he and his brother were living in a Boy’s Home.
After the Corps he entered College and at the present is lacking only his dissertation to have a PhD in History from Georgetown University. He has a Master of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, 1995.
He speaks Arabic and French and studied Arabic at Georgetown University Graduate School and American University in Cairo, Egypt.
He married the love of his life Trudy and has three wonderful children. Ivy 14, Louis 18 and Marshall 21.
He is currently the Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East and North Africa and works for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The four days that I stayed with Bruce we talked about life, the Corps and things that have happen to us in the past 44 years. He, more than anybody that I know about from my Boot camp buddies, have taken what he learned about not quitting and has applied it to his life. He has had many obstacles as we all have had but has overcome them and has risen to a level in life that any man would be proud of. I am truly glad that I have know this man and for the years of service that he has and continues to give to his country. He continues to go overseas and be in harms way for us all and does his job. Semper Fidelis, Bruce Hardcastle. It is an honor to have served with you and to call you my brother.