For Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Duayne Green, participating in the presidential inauguration ceremonies in January was an almost indescribably inspiring experience.
The 2002 Northwest Whitfield High School graduate and former Rocky Face resident said he was chosen for the job of readying other Marines to line the streets for the inaugural parade after an application process in which the corps solicited volunteers.
“It was just one hell of a moment,” Green said. “Everything that went into it — the huge chain of people that stretched the miles and miles that it took for the parade to march and everything from the veterans that have been combat wounded all the day down to the high schoolers that were in the parade showing the support — it was just a very motivational thing.”
Green attended Georgia College and State University and has spent eight years in the Marines. He currently works in fiber security, investigating malicious intent and securing networks. Now stationed in Quantico, Va., he has also lived in South Carolina, Mississippi, North Carolina, Japan and elsewhere. He spent 13 months in Iraq on a deployment in 2007 doing aviation supply. While he was in a combat zone, Green said he never saw any firefights.
Joining the military was something Green said he knew he wanted to do.
“My dad (Douglas Granville Green) was a Marine,” he said. “He made it to the rank of corporal, and he got out of the military I think shortly after I was born. I heard bits and pieces of his experience, and I saw what kind of man he was, and I didn’t feel that I was getting the same life experiences that he did.”
So Green joined at least partly to get those experiences.
Green’s mother, Lorrie, said she’s excited for the opportunity her son had to be part of the inaugural ceremonies.
“My son is a part of American history, even a little part,” she said. “I am proud of him.”
Green said he found out before the November election he was approved to serve at the inauguration, but the experience for him was patriotic rather than political.
Green said he got to salute the president as he went by and was there with thousands of other military personnel from all the different branches that he got to meet and mingle with. He said he spent 12 to 16 hours standing outside, but because there were two-and-a-half times the number of individuals needed, they were able to take shifts at their posts. His job was to check on the other service members to see if they needed a restroom break, food or other things throughout the day. He was among four non-commissioned officers doing that job for about 40 Marines.
“There was nothing in between the president or the parade (and me),” he said. “I stood 15 feet away from the president, and I saluted him the entire time he was standing before me.”
Then he stood in front of the White House during the inauguration, he said.
“It was quite a spectacle,” he said. “It was really motivating as far as seeing the country rally behind the leader.”
His contract in the Marines ends in 2017, and Green said he’ll likely sign on again.