Veteran of the Month: Mike Bell

M
ike Bell has always lived in Milan. On March 3, 1966 Mike joined the United States Marine Corps on a 120 day plan. He had always wanted to be a Marine and believed there was no better branch of the military than the Marines. Upon his graduation from Milan High School he headed west to begin his life as a Marine. Mike trained at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego California. Upon completion of his basic training, he was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. for additional training. When they selected certain ones from his unit for deployment, he learned his next station would be Okinawa, a Japanese Island in the East China Sea.
As a Marine truck and jeep mechanic Mike did annual PMS (Planned Maintenance Scheme) disassembling and reassembling vehicles making sure they were in top condition and took care of everyday maintenance. He said Okinawa wasn’t a bad place and the people were nice. Said sometimes late at night they’d sneak down to Kadena Air Force Base for “a good meal”. Mike served in Okinawa for 13 months and then he returned state side to Camp Lejeune. Except for a couple of Mediterranean cruises and the 6 months in Puerto Rico on guard duty, he was stationed in Camp Lejeune until his discharge in June 1970.
Mike returned home where his parents lived in Milan. Later, through a connection with friends, he met Ellen Wright and in 1976 they were married. They have remained in Milan, their 2 children, a daughter Jenny and a son Jeremy graduated from Milan High School. Their children live in Milan as well as their grandson and granddaughter. When Mike returned from the military he worked as a mechanic at Willow Run and eventually worked for the City of Milan, retiring after 30 years. His wife, Ellen, is Milan Parks and Recreation Department Head.
Mike’s hobbies are camping with Ellen and their grandchildren.
When Mike was ask if he had any advice for young people considering joining the military he said, “do your mind, where you feel you should be – you should be.”
The Milan Eagle thanks you Mike Bell for your service to our country. “Semper Fidelis”

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