Kegan Maxwell
Kegan Maxwell

VAN WERT – When Kegan Maxwell graduated from Peru (Indiana) High School in 2014, he wanted to take on a challenge that would help him develop his character. On Jan. 12, 2015, he began that challenge in the United States Marines.

“I wanted to better myself and I wanted a challenge,” said Maxwell. “I wanted to be more disciplined. I also wanted to find something that could help me travel the world.”

“I didn’t want to just graduate from high school and go into the work force,” continued Maxwell. “I wanted something bigger.”

Maxwell’s first stopping point was Paris Island, South Carolina, where he went through three months of recruitment training in the infantry training battalion. Maxwell was designated as a 0313-LAU crewman and was trained to work on light-armed vehicles.

He was eventually assigned to an Infantry Train Battalion in Camp Geiger, North Carolina, but eventually ended up training to be an LAU crewman in Camp Pendleton, California.

After working for several months at Camp Pendleton, he began a tour that took him into southeast Asia and several other Pacific spots. Upon arrival, his first shock was the cultural aspects of Vietnam, Thailand and Dubai. From there he spent seven months in Guam and Hawaii where he worked and took care of various vehicles.

“Traffic laws in that area were so different,” said Maxwell. “There were no stop signs. People would cut each other off all of the time and not think a thing about it. They were used to it.”

As Maxwell got into that region, he was shocked to learn what some of the cultural norms were.

“To show off the bottom side of the foot was disrespectful,” said Maxwell, who has many relatives in the Van Wert County area. “You could tell that we were in third world countries by the way that power lines were strung out.”

“Dubai was beautiful but was very expensive,” continued Maxwell. “They have the most expensive and beautiful tower in the world and the biggest mall in the world.”

“The weather was at a standstill. It didn’t change much,” noted Maxwell. “It felt good to arrive in America when we got home.”

Maxwell will receive his honorable discharge in January of 2019. Following that his goal is to attend Power Sports Institute in Cleveland and train for dirt bike repair.

“Motocross has always been one of my passions. It’s something I love,” said Maxwell.

“I am proud I did this” said Maxwell of his service in the Marines. “It definitely taught me a lot of discipline. It’s something you can do to save lives and stay in shape. It taught me to be pro-active and stay out of my comfort zone.”