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Got Your 6 celebrates Black History Month by featuring veterans

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Maurice Decaul’s military action was inspired by his family’s encyclopedia: “I grew up in a pre-internet world so the encyclopedia was possessed of a wealth of knowledge and I greedily consumed it. What does this have to do with why I joined the military? Well as a child I had an uncanny interest in technology especially aircraft. I would read the encyclopedia for information about airplanes.”

Though Maurice never became a pilot, he enlisted and became an artilleryman and later an infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps; still, he continued to be an “aerospace geek.” Maurice was interested in both the individual and collective struggle of ground combat, seeing the necessary value of both. This fascination started at a young age when he played war games with other kids. Maurice’s involvement in the military was also driven by his desire for citizenship, as he did not become an American citizen until after the completion of his active service.

When Maurice returned home from his military service, he used poetry and writing to ease his transition into civilian life and discovered a new passion in the process. He is now a poet, essayist and playwright and has been featured in The New York Times and The Daily Beast.

After his service, Maurice took away with him a sense of self-discipline. The self-discipline that he used in the military has been translated into his work as a writer, and he strives to improve his writing everyday. “Even though I travel frequently I maintain enough self-discipline to carve out time to work in the field. I gained the ethic in the Marines as a youngster and it hasn’t been lost to me,” Maurice said in the blog post.

Maurice’s story appeared on our campaign Got Your 6’s blog as part of the celebration of Black History Month. Throughout February, the stories of military veterans will be shared on the blog; each story will explain what led these veterans to serve in the military and how they continue to serve their country at home.

Read Maurice’s full blog post here and watch his Storytellers presentation here.

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