Dale’s father was a Marine in World War II and served as an aircraft mechanic for four years. He did not push Dale into enlisting as a Marine – he even encouraged him to go into the Air Force or Navy to learn a trade – but Dale followed in his father’s footsteps.
“At the time that I went in I was determined that the Marine Corps had this reputation of being the finest, and I figured if I was going into the service I was going in with the finest,” he said.
Dale served almost five years in active duty and 20 years in the reserves. He retired as a lieutenant colonel, but he said one of his proudest moments was being able to take his father back to Parris Island to see Jason and Andrew gradate from recruit training.
“To be able to walk around a place as historic and well known as Parris Island and to be able to do that with my father and my sons was very unique,” he said.
When Andrew graduated from Parris Island, Dale said the commanding general and the sergeant major saluted his father to say “thank you” for his service, a moment Dale said is very special to him.
“Every generation of Marines stands on the shoulders of the generation before,” Dale said.
Andrew served for four years including two tours in Iraq and is now working toward a degree from Georgia State University. Jason, who is eight years older than Andrew, enlisted after his brother and went through the reserve program and did one tour of Afghanistan. He now works as a financial advisor in Buckhead.
Andrew said he did not think too much of the family history when he enlisted, but now that he shares that bond with his father and brother he feels a “profound and deeper closeness” that is unique to their family.
“It’s something we can understand and talk about that no one else can understand,” he said. “For me, it’s important. It’s a great thing to have.”
Having a Marine for a father was also helpful on the home front when the younger Greenes were in the service. Dale was able to explain things to their mother so she could understand what her sons were doing and try to put her at ease.
Dale said because all three of them served in combat they understand each other and do not even have to talk to understand what the others are going through.
“We don’t have to talk about it,” he said. “We just know.”