Veterans Respected, but Misunderstood

Posted June 28, 2012

Walking hand-in-hand with his mother at the age of 5, Roxley Pratt looked up and saw what he wanted to be. He spotted the crisp uniform, impeccable posture and stoic gaze of the sentry standing guard at the U.S. Embassy in war-torn Sierra Leone, and he knew who he wanted to be: a U.S. Marine.

Years later, after he and his family were finally able to immigrate to America, Roxley joined the Marine Corps to fund his education. After 9/11 he deployed to Iraq, where he rehearsed counter-ambush techniques in the intense heat. The work was dangerous, but unlike some of his younger counterparts, Roxley was familiar with war. He knew from his childhood in Sierra Leone, the Marines would be entrusted with leaving a positive impression on Iraqi children. He served honorably for six years, but upon returning to civilian life, Roxley felt something was missing.


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