Wetzel points to good reasons for joining U.S. Marine Corps

10:24 am | September 10, 2013

Discipline. Courage. Camaraderie. Honor.2A TUESDAY WALL - Wetzel

Those are the reasons 43-year-old Elizabethton resident Andrew Wetzel II joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves in 1991.

Currently ranked as a Master Sergeant, Wetzel, who is also a full-time Elizabethton firefighter and owner of the Stateline Drive-In, said he was 21 years old when he talked to a recruiter and joined the Reserves.

“I knew I needed something,” Wetzel said. “I was a sophomore at East Tennessee State University and I had no direction. I had no discipline. I was not making very good grades and I thought I needed some discipline in my life.”

Photo by Brandon HicksWetzel said he was not deterred by missing a year of school to join.

“It took me longer to graduate, but that was OK,” Wetzel said.

All featured on the Elizabethton/Carter County Wall of Honor, Wetzel said he was also fond of joining the armed forces because his grandfather and father had enlisted.

“When they would be in their formations wearing their slick cammies and polished boots, I always thought that was pretty cool,” Wetzel said. “It was always in the back of my mind as something I might like to do. I had to find something to do that was going to dial me back in and keep me focused a little more.”

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