Spiridigliozzi, Marc

Mark Spiridigliozzi was born May 11, 1948 in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  He grew up in a large family, in a largely rural area, and he remembers well the largely idyllic days of his boyhood, which he experienced against the backdrop of the 1950s-60s postwar boom.  His father was a member of the WW2 US Army National Guard; with three children in the family already he was not sent overseas.  Mark recalls that times were tough when he was growing up; his father worked the railroads and hauled coal, but with a big family there wasn’t much money to spare.  After high school, Mark didn’t see college as an option, so he moved to Detroit and took a job with Bell.  The army would come calling in 1967, and Mark was ordered to report to the local draft board; soon after he was inducted and off to Fort Knox for basic training.  Tigerland came next, and Mark was transformed into a combat infantryman, with the next stop being Vietnam.  He was assigned to the First Cavalry Division, A Company, and he went into action with them in the A Shau Valley soon after he arrived.  On one occasion, Mark was wounded while on patrol, and was sent for recovery to Camp Zama, in Japan.  Mark shares so many memories of his time in Vietnam – the food, the weather, the friendships, the waiting…and he recalls the trip home on the Freedom Bird, followed by a difficult readjustment to civilian life.  Mark decided to reenlist, seeing the army as a potential career, and he spent some time driving a mail truck in Korea.  That prompted him to look for alternatives, and he decided to go back to school and enter the manufacturing world.  Only later in life did Marc contend with his Vietnam past, and he has found ways to reconcile that and to take pride in his service and in his ongoing service to others.  I was lucky to meet Marc at the Veterans’ Breakfast Club, and Crestwood students were fortunate to have a zoom conversation with him in the fall of 2021.  

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