Valley Marine retires after 30 years of active duty service - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Valley Marine retires after 30 years of active duty service

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Friday was a very special day for a valley Marine who retired after 30 years of service to our country.

His Marine brothers put together a well deserved farewell ceremony to recognize his commitment and sacrifice.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Anthony Camacho was visibly emotional during the ceremony.

His military brothers stood in front of the room, raising flags to honor his service.

"It's been an honor for me to serve for the last 30 years," said Camacho.

Camacho was a young man straight out of high school when he joined to Corps, but had no idea he would stay in this long.

"When I first enlisted..was in high school looking for something to do and I knew I wanted to get out and do my own thing and so I joined and I really thought it would only last four years," he said.

But those four years turned into a lifetime career of duty and honor.  Camacho has served with the Marine Corps all over the world, including Japan, the Mediterranean and Greenland.

One of the biggest sacrifices he made was leaving his family behind to complete his missions.

"It's tough, you know, but it's the same struggles everybody has with the work and trying to provide what you can," said Camacho.  "For us, there's a sense of duty, sense of responsibility to mission -- that's greater than everything else."

His family always stood by his side and waited for his safe return after every deployment.

"Growing up, I didn't really know him 'cause he was always gone.  I didn't really know him until he joined the recruiting office and that's when he moved away, so we've had like a distant relationship, but it's been a close, distant relationship," said Alex Camacho, Anthony's daughter.

The Master Gunnery Sergeant is happy to be home for good.  And his family couldn't be happier to have him back.

"I love him and I'm proud of him," said Alex.

Camacho spent the last 14 years working as a recruiter, ushering men and women eager to serve in the Marine Corps.

He says he's not sure what he's doing after retirement, but has plenty of time to think about it.

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