TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Introduced to traveling frequently at a young age, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dustin Luse learned to love the itinerant lifestyle that’s part of serving in the military. Because of his father’s job, he lived in several states throughout his childhood, including Ohio, Illinois and Texas.
“My dad worked in drywall,” said Luse, a native of Vidor, Texas. “We just traveled around whenever there was a job to be done.”
After he graduated from Vidor High School, Luse said, he realized he had fallen in love with the nomadic lifestyle. He was not satisfied with his job at a fast food restaurant, he added, so he decided to join the military.
His father, John G. Luse, said Dustin wanted to be in the military from a very young age. “I remember watching ‘Heartbreak Ridge’ with him,” he recalled. “He said, ‘Daddy, who are those people?’ and I said, ‘Those are the Marines, son. From what I hear, it is the toughest branch of service.’”
When he heard these words -- even as a young child -- he decided that his dream was to be a Marine, Luse said.
“I remember the first time he talked to a recruiter and found out he was 2 pounds overweight,” his father said. “I told him I was proud of him for even trying, but that was not good enough for him.”Luse completed his basic training in July 2013. Now, he is a motor transportation operator for Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group. Since July, he has supported and trained with the infantry during cold weather mountain warfare training in Northern California.
“It feels good to do my job and help people,” he said. “Without the supplies that we transport, a unit can’t function efficiently for very long.”
His father says the young Marine always has been active and has had a great work ethic.
“We didn’t have a babysitter when he was young, so I would take him to work with me,” he said. “Dustin would always want to help with anything he could.”
Luse recently supported the annual Steel Knight exercise by transporting food, water and fuel to units throughout remote training areas in Twentynine Palms.
“Luse had a good time,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Escalante, Luse’s staff noncommissioned officer in charge in Luse’s battalion. “Coming out here to the field is a good way for us to get used to operating the vehicles in different types of terrain, and Luse makes the most of it.”
Later this year, Luse is slated to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He said he is excited for the adventure that awaits him.
“I have a steady-paying job, a roof over my head and I’m living the way I want,” he added. “What more could anyone want?”