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Washington native fights in Afghanistan, continues Infantry legacy

24 Aug 2012 | Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr.

AFGHANISTAN - Marines decide to become a member of the finest force on earth for many different reasons. For Lance Cpl. Joshua D. Bucko, it was a call to duty.

Bucko, mortarman, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Regimental Combat Team 6, is currently deployed to the Kajaki District of Helmand province, Afghanistan.

“Really it was like a call to service-type of thing,” said the Marysville, Wash., native about his decision to join. “I thought about it, and I had family members in the service. I decided I was going to go somewhere, but I just didn’t know where.”

Having eloped earlier that year, Bucko said he felt a slight pressure to move things along and make a change for the better.

“I ended up renting three Marine Corps (motivational)-movies and watching them,” said Bucko. “It just kind of sat with me for a week then I told my wife, “Hey Babe, I’m going to talk to a recruiter tomorrow for the Marine Corps.

“When I told her I was going to a recruiter she just said, ‘Look at all of your options besides just the infantry’,” he said.

After some deliberation and discussing his options with the recruiter, he made his decision. With his family’s military history, there was no other choice for Bucko besides infantry.

“She wasn’t too happy, but she accepted it. It was what I wanted to do,” Bucko said.

That next week he was off to basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Many of Bucko’s family members who’ve served in the military were elite operators in the infantry.

“I’ve had a lot of family members go (special operations forces) for all different branches,” said Bucko. “I’ve had Navy SEALs in the family, and Green Berets. My grandfather was (Army) Airborne in Vietnam.”

With a wife of three years and two kids at home, Bucko is in Afghanistan for the first time, doing what his family has done for generations: answering a call to service.

“I heard at Leatherneck we were going to this PB Shaban, and Shaban will not be forgotten,” said Bucko. “We got out here, and that night we got shot at for the first time. It set the tempo. It’s been exciting.

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