My father enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on his 18th birthday, in the fall of 1971.
This photograph was taken to commemorate Boot Camp graduation. Most of these young men shipped out to Vietnam shortly thereafter. Many never returned.
Toward the end of Boot Camp, Dad was selected for additional training as a 0331 Machine Gunner, so he never made it to Vietnam; at the conclusion of his training, new Marines were no longer being deployed.