GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – You could say a little sibling rivalry with his sister is what prompted Dan Becker to join the military.
“My sister, she had joined up to go into the Army, and she was razzing me a little bit because I wanted to do something. She said, ‘Oh, you’ll never be a Marine.’ So, I joined the Marines,” Becker said.
Becker joined the Marines in high school back in 1989, but it would always remain a part of his life.
“I left high school on a Friday, and I was in boot camp that following Tuesday and it was a shock, because I was only 17 years old and I had no idea what I had signed up for, none at all,” he said. “But it was good, you know, I look back at it as it’s pretty much what had defined me from that point on,” said Becker.
Becker and his high school sweetheart, now wife, packed up their lives in Green Bay and left for Twenty-Nine Palms, where Becker would train to be a ground radio repairman before deploying for Desert Shield.
“We were stationed at the berm, and we were able to see the beginning of the air war. They were flying over us, we had our night vision goggles, we could see them going over there, we could see the blasts,” Becker recalled. “It was really amazing when you looked at the berm from where we were, how close the Iraqis were on the other side,” he said.
Becker got out of the Marines in 1993, but when he said it would define his life from that point on, he was right.
In 2007, he found his way to the Desert Veterans of Wisconsin and has remained a big part of the group ever since.
“It was actually pretty interesting because it kind of rekindled that whole brotherhood that I had when I was in the Marine Corps, and I was sort of missing it and not realizing it,” he said.
But it’s not just the brotherhood; Becker serves as the first vice president of DVoW, leading fundraisers and community events, helping the non-profit’s mission of giving back to vets in need.
And that feeling of helping others, comes pretty close to the satisfaction of doing it with his comrades.
“When you get the satisfaction to actually help a veteran and their family, it’s hard to explain, it’s hard to put into words the feelings that you get when you actually see someone tangibly getting helped from what we think of as minimal efforts on our behalf, and they have a big impact on families,” Becker said.
To learn more on Desert Veterans of Wisconsin, and how you can help its mission, click here.