Q&A w/ Peter A. Haviland US Marines

Peter A. Haviland is a retired United States Marine Corps Staffsargent, who had volunteered to put himself in harm’s way to serve and protect our nation for 20 years. Haviland is a wounded warrior that had earned the Purple Heart Award on August 26, 2004.



BH: When did you enlist? How long did you serve for, and what was your rank when you retired 

PH: “I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps August 1995, in Springfield Massachusetts, at 18 years old. I served for 20 years and 15 days, and retired when I was 38 as a Staff Sergeant” 


BH: Describe how you tell your family and friends that you were joining the military? And how did they respond? 

PH: “My dad had me visit all the other branches of service before I made my final decision”


BH:  What were some of the reasons that you joined the military? What were some of your concerns?

PH: “I joined the military because I didn’t want to go to college, and I wanted to travel. I didn’t really have any concerns”


BH: How did you imagine military life before you joined compared to what it was like after your experience?

PH: “I imagined it to be harder than it was”


BH: Describe basic training and where did you receive training?

PH: “There was a lot of exercising, we did a lot of running and cardio. There was only two recruit depots in the US, I went to Paris Island in South Carolina”


BH: How do you think your time in the military affected you? Describe the return to normal civilian life

PH: “I believe my time in the military affected my maturity. But if I hadn’t joined I would have no idea where I would be now. Returning to civilian life was challenging but very good on moving back to family”


BH: What do you wish civilians understood about military service?

PH: “I don’t really have a comment on that”


BH: What are some things you miss about being in the service? What are some things you are glad to have left behind?

PH: “I would say the main thing that  I miss are my co-workers. I don’t really have any regrets, but i don’t miss getting woken up early and getting phone calls throughout the night”


BH: Where were you stationed at 

PH: “I was stationed at Okinawa, Japan, 29 Palms California, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, FortLeonard Wood, Missouri, and Cherry Point, North Carolina”


BH: which was your favorite and what place was the worst?

PH: “My favorite place would be Okinawa because of the waters, and the least, Fort Leonard Wood, I was instructing all the time”


BH: What is the strongest memory you have in the Marines?

PH: “I would say the thing I remember the most are my deployments going to Iraq and Afghanistan, it was applying what we trained for into real life situations”


BH: What rank are you most proud to have earned, and why? 

PH: “Staff Sergeant, I was there the longest, and that’s where I left the Marines”


BH: Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received, and why?

PH: “My navy achievement medals and my Purple Heart. They were both personal awards that I received”


BH: When did you receive the Purple Heart?

PH: “I revived the Purple Heart in August 26, 2004”


BH: What was the incident that led to you receiving the Purple Heart award?

PH:“I was in a convoy driving down one of the main supply routes in Iraq, and hit a road side bomb”


BH: How does that incident affect you now?

PH: “I got to meet a lot of older veterans with the purple heart, and I had my experiences with them working in the community”


BH: How many medals did you receive, what were some for?

PH: “I revived 13 medals, the Purple heart is from when I was wounded, the navy achievement medals are from different operations, and the Navy Unit citation is from different units I was with, I received it from outstanding work”


BH: How does your military experience affect your life today? 

PH: “I have a retirement, and I  have friends all over the country”


BH: Were there any major events that affected you in the marines other than the Purple Heart? 

PH: “September 11th. We have been at war since then. And it changed everything since then” 


BH: How did you communicate with family members or/and friends 

PH: ”We all emailed, used satellite phones, and we went through operators”