NORWICH – Daniel Black says he joined the Marines Corps at age 17 because he wasn’t sure what to do upon graduating high school.
Claiming he was promised job experience, money for college, and a chance to travel the world, Black, a New Jersey native, admits he didn’t sign up in 2000 to fight a war.
Eight years, and two tours in the Middle East later, the former Marine, discharged in 2005, is an outspoken activist against the Iraq war.
On Saturday, he spoke about his military experiences to a small group in the community room at the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich. Thursday, he gave a talk to students at Hartwick College sponsored by the Iraq-Iran Group of the Coalition for Democracy of Central New York.
A member of “Iraq Veterans Against the War,” a group listing more than 800 members in 48 states, Black says his disdain for the war was first fueled by the angst of being “in-country” overseas and tensions with his commanding officers.
“It was all motivated out of a general distaste for my situation,” said Black, claiming many of his peers felt the same way. “Morale was in pretty bad shape ... We just didn’t want to be there for any other reason than it wasn’t a fun place to be.”