AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Some people join the Marine Corps for the challenge, others join for the service to their country, but Lance Cpl. Benjamin D. Shover joined because he was born into it.
Shover, a 24-year-old rifleman for Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, is a third generation Marine, following his grandfather and his father into enlisted service in the Corps.
Shover’s grandfather served shortly before the Korean War from 1951-1954 and his father served from 1981-2001, retiring at the rank of gunnery sergeant.
Being raised by an active duty Marine, Shover spent much of his youth around Marines.
“I grew up on Marine Corps bases,” said Shover, a native of Winterville, Ga. “I was always around Marines and that’s something I became comfortable with.”
Growing up, Shover lived on many different bases including Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, and the Mare Island Naval Base.
Being around so many positive role models in the military had an influence on Shover, but his greatest influence came at home.
Shover admired his father’s demeanor and personality, attributing much of it to his service as a Marine.
“I always looked at the kind of guy my Dad was and I felt a lot of it came from the Corps,” said Shover. “His integrity and loyalty to fellow Marines stood out most to me.”
Although the Corps became home to Shover growing up, he did not enlist out of high school.
Shover spent one year at Athens Technical College and one year at the Art Institute of Atlanta studying graphics and programming.
With the Marine Corps in his thoughts however, Shover became dissatisfied with his education.
Choosing to leave school, Shover enlisted into the Marine Corps on Sept. 19, 2004.
“I didn’t feel I was going anywhere with (college),” said Shover. “I had been thinking about joining since high school, so I decided to go ahead and do it.”
Shover’s enlistment into the Marine Corps came as grand news for his father and grandfather, both excited to see their footsteps followed.
“They’re up in the clouds they’re so proud,” said Shover.
Shover also feels a great sense of pride at the choice to become a Marine and carry out the tradition.
After serving more than two years enlisted and on his second combat tour, Shover hasn’t regretted his decision.
“I don’t regret leaving school,” said Shover. “I’m proud of my decision and it was the best thing for me.”