ROBERTSON BARRACKS, Northern Territory, Australia – After leaving the US at age eight, Lance Cpl. Brian Walsh, assaultman, Weapons Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, still wanted to become a United States Marine. He traveled back overseas and more than 5,000 miles to fulfill that dream.
In 2010, Walsh returned to Royal Oak, Mich., from Crosshaven, Ireland, to stay with his aunt and pursue his life-long goal. He met with a Marine recruiter to discuss his ambition to become part of a brotherhood he has admired since he was a young child.
“I always heard so many stories about Marines,” said Walsh. “I wanted the honor of wearing that uniform. It just looked better to me than any of the other branches, and I’ve always been up for a bit of a challenge.”
Walsh found getting started on the paperwork in order to wear that uniform he longed for proved to be a bit of a challenge.
“It was funny because the recruiters had never seen a case like mine,” explained Walsh. “I brought them my paperwork and everything was Irish. They didn’t even know what it meant. They had to call up the Irish Embassy and fax stuff to them.”
Now that Wash has completed recruit training, he has accompanied Lima Co. to Australia as part of the second iteration of MRF-D. Throughout the past three months in the Top End, he has noticed a lot of similarities between the Australian and Irish culture.
“Some of the slang words here are the same as the ones in Ireland,” said Walsh. “Like ‘bin’ for trash and ‘pub’ for bar. Not to mention they’re into a lot of the same sports as the Irish – like rugby.”
When Walsh attended school in Ireland after leaving the states, he found one of the ways he connected with his peers was by playing rugby. While he didn’t get to catch every Munster game on TV in America, he is now able to watch his favorite team play in almost every game here in Darwin.
“I’m a huge rugby fan, and I played it pretty much the whole time I lived in Ireland,” explained Walsh. “I’ve been playing a lot out here, too. We’re trying to get a team together for Weapons Platoon. Hopefully we can go out in town and play a game.”
After two years of serving in the Corps, Walsh is just as enthusiastic about his job as he is about rugby.
“I get to come in and shoot rockets,” said Walsh. “All of us in Weapons Platoon are like a family. We’re really close knit. I love my job.”