Jim Willsey is a friend of mine. I’ve known him for years, worked with him from time to time, and can personally attest to the fact that in his mid-seventies he can still outwork men half his age. He’s an upright man with a sense of honor that, these days, seems rare and outdated. If you ask him where his strength of character comes from (and probably even if you don’t ask him) he’ll tell you it’s because he was a Marine fifty years ago. He’s proud of that. He’s proud of the Marines.
Jim was a drill instructor in his twenties— a hard-nosed, hard-fisted, uncompromising soldier. As a young man, the Marines shaped him, and he in turn shaped other young Marines. He’ll tell you he was a tough master, and he’ll tell you why. Always in the front of his mind was the fact that many of the recruits in his charge would end up in Vietnam, where the strength of their training would literally mean the difference between life and death.
Our photographer friend, Larry, put together…
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