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Following in his footsteps: Marine Corps major pinned by WWII vet grandfather

By RAY WESTBROOK | The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal | Published: November 17, 2018

LUBBOCK, Texas (Tribune News Service) — Bill Pasewark, who fought on Iwo Jima during World War II, was present to pin the signet on his grandson's uniform at his recent promotion to the rank of major.

Travis Denny, who joined the Marine Corps 10 years ago under the shadow of his Marine hero grandfather, is a helicopter pilot stationed at Corpus Christi. He was in Lubbock on Saturday to take the new rank's oath administered by fellow Marine Corps Maj. David Goodman.

"I have always been interested in flying — always wanted to serve — and obviously my grandfather was an inspiration for that. So, I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Then, 9/11 happened, and that just kind of sealed the deal for me:

"I wanted to serve in the military and I definitely wanted to be in the Marine Corps. Patriotism was part of it."

Pasewark, a retired textbook author and retired Texas Tech professor, was on hand when Denny went into the service as a second lieutenant. He pinned that signet on, also.

Speaking before a crowd of family and well-wishers in the Hall of Nations at the International Cultural Center, Pasewark drew laughter from the audience when he said, "In 2028,

I am going to pin my grandson with a silver star, the sign of a brigadier general."

The oath, however, was only serious as administered by Goodman:

"I Travis Denny do solemnly swear to support the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same ... I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I'm about to enter, so help me God."

Denny said his grandfather has told him some of the family stories.

"But it wasn't until I joined the Marine Corps that he told some more about the details of it.

"Joining is the best decision I have ever made in my life. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways. It's a great career and there are so many great opportunities that I wouldn't have been able to have otherwise.

"It's been a great adventure."

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©2018 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)
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