The three most important things the Marine Corps does for the Nation are make Marines, win the Nation’s battles, and develop quality citizens. The first two are objectives that can been easily recognized. Make Marines–more than 30,000 citizens graduate Marine Corps recruit training each year. Win battles–Battle of Iwo Jima, Battle of Okinawa, and Battle of Derna, all of which can be read about in history books. The last one can only be known by those who have the pleasure of knowing one.

Marine Corps Veteran Angus “Gator” Alberson, a native of Hartford, Alabama, served in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 451, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina from 1966-1970. Today, Alberson owns American Machining and Manufacturing in Varnville, South Carolina, and is a prime example of the Marine Corps’ third objective.

“I remember sitting in class with the recruiter when my friend Bill whispered something in my ear,” said Alberson. “The recruiter said, ‘Hey Red!’ because he was a redhead, ‘If you got something to say then you can stand up and tell us all.’ It was funny because Billy always had something to say, but he was at loss for words.”

“I would say that incident with my friend Billy made the Marines stand out,” said Alberson. “That and they have the sharpest uniforms in the world. Also, my uncle was a Marine, and he was the one that I looked up to the most.”

Alberson shipped to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, in August 1966. After graduation and completion of his Military Occupation Specialty School, Alberson was given a choice of duty station due to his superior performance during training. Alberson chose to carry out his duties as an aircraft mechanic at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

“When I got to VMFA-451, I actually ended up working on the flight-line because that’s where they needed people,” said Alberson. “I never left; I never went to the engine shop, but it ended up being a good thing because I really enjoyed it– catching the birds, sending them out and getting to meet all of the officers. It was a good job, probably the best I’ve ever had.”

Alberson married his wife Johnette in 1969 and completed his service tour in 1970. He had originally wanted to return to Alabama but agreed to stay local to Beaufort, South Carolina because his wife didn’t want to leave her hometown.

“I got out of the Marine Corps on a Friday, and that afternoon, I stopped at a tool and dial shop that was right outside of town and spoke to a guy named Turner Tootin and asked for a job,” said Alberson. “He told me to be there on Tuesday morning, and I stayed there for eight years.”