Private First Class Ryan Pitcher, Ocean County native and one of my best friends is officially a United States Marine - okay well, I'm a little late, he graduated on January 13th. 

Courtesy of Rachel Grant

He is currently stationed at United States Army Base Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri. Pfc. Pitcher has been away from home for Thanksgiving and Christmas but has always remained positive in his quest to serve his country.


Pfc. Pitcher is an Ocean County native, he attended Jackson Memorial High School where he later transferred to my old high school, Central Regional. I can remember for as long as I have known him, for about two and a half years now, that he always wanted to take the giant leap and join the Marines - and so he did, soon after he graduated high school, he was off to boot camp.

When Rouge One: A Star Wars Story came out, I dragged his girlfriend, Rachel, with me to see it, but I had to go once again when he came home. This may not be a big deal to you, but to Star Wars nerds like Pfc. Pitcher and myself, it definitely is.

In my life, If I have only learned two things so far, it was to respect my elders and to thank someone who serves anyway that I can. Though Pfc. Pitcher has not been deployed, I believe signing the paper makes you a hero. I am so proud to know him and call him one of my best friends.