As fog slowly rolled off Lake Michigan into the streets of Chicago, hulking shadows emerged coming into focus as camouflaged and custom painted Humvees escorted by Marines in Dress Blues walked down Columbus Drive as if they themselves came off the water.
It was a sight to see March 13 as Marines with Recruiting Station Chicago teamed up with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment during the annual Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
As if it were an amphibious landing on some foreign land, two tactical vehicles being led by the two red Humvees, led the way for more than 100 following floats.
“This was a great opportunity for the Marines of RS Chicago to get out in the public and speak with young men and women in the marching bands about the great musical opportunities while serving their country as a United States Marine,” said Maj. Matthew Tracy, the commanding officer of RS Chicago. “The highly qualified recruiters that prospected the event not only did a excellent job speaking with the local high school bands who were marching, they spoke with other bands from throughout the country, building that interest and knowledge for recruiting stations to work with in the future.”
This opportunity also gave the Marines an opportunity to talk to the Chicagoland area people and build quality community relations.
As the millions of parade spectators cheered on the Marines, they shook hands, exchanged greetings and a morning smile with the Chicagoland natives.
“It was a great way to show the community that we are not only war fighters and recruiters, but we are here, in their community, willing to serve them in any way we can,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Holtz, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Recruiting Substation Oak Lawn.
As the parade concluded, the Marines marched off into the fog as if they were heading back to sea, from where they came.