David Lightfoot was born on Memorial Day. Following in his father Charles’ footsteps, he became a Marine, building a bond deeper than blood.
“Being a Marine is being in a brotherhood,” Charles said. “So he’s my son, but also my brother. The bond is real thick.”
A few days ago, Charles discovered an unpublished article written by the Navy Public Affairs Center in San Diego. Years have passed, but David’s courageous story will not go untold. Read David’s story below.
Garland Marine Safeguards America’s Strategic Weapons
Story by Ralph Radford
For more than 50 years, the Navy’s ballistic missile submarines have played a silent but crucial role in the protection of U.S. and allied interests. The job of safeguarding weapons carried by these Trident submarines is the job of U.S. Marines like Garland’s David A. Lightfoot.
Marine Cpl. Lightfood, the 30-year-old-son [when article was written] of Charles and Janet Lightfoot, of Garland, is a member of the dedicated and highly trained Marine Corps Security Force at the Pacific Strategic Weapons Facility (SWFPAC) at Bangor, Wash.
The SWFPAC employs over 400 Sailors, Marines and civilian specialists who receive, inspect, store assemble, maintain, load and offload missiles that arm Trident submarines.
To man each of the U.S. Navy’s Trident submarines, there are two complete crews: a “Gold” crew and “Blue crew.” While one crew is on patrol the other crew is training in port. When the first crew returns, the submarine remains in port for a short time and then the other crew takes it on another three-month deployment. The alternating Blue and Gold crews enable the Trident submarines to be almost continually on patrol. While at sea, the submarine remains undetected, providing our country with a highly survivable strategic deterrent force.
Although missiles and weapon technology have advanced significantly over the past five decades, the mission of protecting them has remained the same. It is a demanding assignment that the Navy has tasked Marines like Lightfoot with accomplishing.
“My job is important because I help to defend some of our Navy’s most vital assets,” said Lightfoot, a 1989 graduate of Alpha Academy High School.
There are many reasons to join the Marines. Many join for the pride of being a Marine in addition to the college money and financial security.
“I joined the Marines in order to serve my country, while gaining leadership skills,” said Lightfoot.
Lightfoot takes great pride in protecting the nation and leaving a positive influence on his work environment. Despite the demands of his job, he finds rewards in his work.
“The most rewarding part of being in the military is knowing that I have chosen one of the most noble and difficult professions to help in the safety and protection of my country,” said Lightfoot.
Lightfoot feels that the Marine Corps have taught him the sense of pride and discipline it takes to work together as a team.
“Since joining the Marines, I have learned personal disciplines, prioritization, and how to work together as a team,” Lightfoot said.
Without the level of force protection provided by Marines like Lightfoot, the navy could not operate the Trident program. Thanks to the service of the Marines, the president can deploy the highly capable and survivable Trident strategic force to provide a lasting deterrent.