We continue our salute to the men and women who have served this country through its military forces.
JET 24 Action News’ Chelsey Withers sat down with one veteran who credits the Marine Corps for turning his life around.
The decision to join the military is a life changing one. For those who join young, it can help dictate the direction they’re heading.
“I served four years in the Marine Corps from 1990 to 1994 and it was probably the first best decision I made in my life, because I started not doing the right thing, getting on the wrong track and that really straightened me out.” said Jon Nolan.
After serving in the Marine Corps, Jon Nolan took the test to become a police officer in the City of Erie. Today, Nolan holds the title of Deputy Chief in the department.
“I didn’t see myself 25 years ago in this position. Don’t really know how I got here, but, again, I attribute that to my military service.” Nolan said.
Memories of his time in the military are something Nolan still holds on to as a veteran.
“I’m sliding down the rope and my drill instructor said to stand at attention and I’m hanging from my legs and I’m upside down about 15 feet over a pond of dark water and I don’t know what’s underneath it and he said ‘Stand at attention’ so I had to let go head first into the water, but it was a great though.” Nolan said.
Nolan passing on his stories to his son, who also decided to enter the military, saying that this kind of experience is something to hold onto and be thankful for.
“I tried to explain to my son also that that’s the beginning. He looked at it as before he went in that he was going to be missing four years of his life, but its just the beginning. It’s the start and a jumping point for the rest.” Nolan said.
Nolan is one of 80 officers in the Erie Police Department who also served in the military.