[November 25, 2020] My best Italian friend goes by the name Marco Polo. He’s a real go-getter, Vietnam veteran, and family man. In Vietnam, he was with the 1/4th U.S. Marines. Their motto, Whatever it Takes. In a nutshell, that describes the U.S. Marine Corps and my friend Marco.
His life’s story should someday be a book. If that happens, you won’t’ be able to put it down when you read about his humble beginnings in Italy and later as a hero for the U.S. military in Vietnam. Like the 1/4th Marines, the man is a powerhouse.
What it takes is, however, more than a motto. It’s a lifestyle based on the idea that nothing will stand in your way once you decide upon a mission or goal. Psychologists have suggested that humans must have specific, achievable, realistic goals to pursue in order to live a useful and happy life.
Where did it Begin?
Marco Polo spent the first few years of his life in northeast Italy. To have a better life, he immigrated to the United States. After making good money on a commercial ship, he decided that he wanted to give back to America. So, he joined the U.S. Marines Corps and requested assignment to a combat unit in Vietnam. At the peak of the war, the Corps leaders were happy to send him on his way.
After four Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in battle and many months in a military hospital, it was time for him to change careers. Marco never changed. If he wanted something, he would go for it. After a few years working in casinos, as a waiter and cleanup guy in restaurants, and finally, as the owner of a pizza joint, he retired and began helping other veterans.
Whatever It Takes:
Marco and I speak often. The conversation always turns to helping other veterans and what we can do to educate the American public about military service. If there is a veteran advocate that does more for veterans than Marco, I’m not aware of that person. There is no problem he cannot solve or go around to help.
This past weekend, he called me to talk about a statue honoring World War II medics. This statue had been in the works for a long time and was faltering. Someone from the group that wanted the statue called Marco, and now we are on our way to get it done. Marco became the sparkplug for the organization.
Marco Polo is defined by the words, Whatever it Takes. I have found that many Marco Polos are waiting in the wings to be asked to help. Find them, and you will find the solution to the problems you might have. And that, my friends, is why I have Marco as a friend.