National Marine Corps Day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

National Marine Corps Day

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YAKIMA, WA - Today is National Marine Corps Day, the birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

In celebration of the day, Reporter Caitlin Medearis spoke with Marine Corps veteran Randy Gardner, who fought in the Vietnam War.

Gardner says the Marine Corps' birthday is so important to him that he even considers it his own birthday.

"It reminds all of us Marines where our Marine Corps roots came from, and how the struggle was back then," he says. "The Marine Corps is a great organization, and it's one of the toughest organizations."

While serving in Vietnam, Gardner was hit with an RPG and discharged after being treated, for which he received the Purple Heart.

"I enjoyed my job...probably a little too much," says Gardner. "It left a lot of mental scars on me. I would do it again in a heartbeat, just so my grand kids can have the freedoms that I've been given."

Gardner now does what he can to give back to other vets, and is a part of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, a group of vets who sponsor motorcycle-related charity events to raise money for veteran resources.

"I enjoy doing things for other veterans... helping them out in any way I can."

Gardner will be featured in the Yakima Veterans Day Parade, and says it is one of the great honors of his life.

To all our Marine Corps vets out there, we thank you for your service.

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