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Marine visits Green Primary class before deployment

4/25/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Dominick DeDominics visited the second-grade classroom of his mother, Tammy DeDominics, at Green Primary School April 11.
Photo: Joyce Rainey Long
GREEN — While on leave, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Dominick DeDominics reported to Green Primary School April 11.

DeDominics, 20, is an antitank guided missile man and is being deployed to Afghanistan this month for an eight-month assignment. He has been in the Marines for two years.

“He’s a great example for the students,” said Kevin Finefrock, Green Primary School principal. “They are so excited about seeing him, and this is a real-life learning experience.”

DeDominics answered questions, demonstrated military exercises and showed videos of his boot camp graduation to 21 second-graders taught by his mother, Tammy DeDominics. He also let the students try on some of his military gear and taught them the proper names for the clothing.

“Being in the Marines is not ever boring,” he said, adding throughout high school, he planned on joining the military and always knew he wanted to serve in infantry.

DeDominics said his desire to do something unselfish led him to join the U.S. Marines. He also shares a strong faith with his family, which includes his mother, father, Dominick DeDominics Sr., 14-year-old brother, Sam, and his fiancée, Alexiss Sylvester, whom he plans to marry next summer.

At Green Primary School, DeDominics fielded questions from the second-graders about how many bones he has broken in the Marines (some fingers, he told the class) and whether he works on land or on water (only land). They also asked if he had met everyone in the Marines. He replied, “no.”

“The class is very aware of what’s happening in the world. They are thinkers,” said Tammy DeDominics, whose classroom was decorated with patriotic posters and notes the students made for her son.

Her students plan to write letters to her son while he’s deployed, she added.

“I could use those over there,” DeDominics said about letters from children, adding he enjoyed the students’ questions and curiosity.

DeDominics said he joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Louisville High School as a 4.0 student, adding the military is a good fit for him.

“I had options, but none felt clear,” he said.

He is now working on an associate degree from the University of Phoenix and hopes to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

“I love psychology, and the Marines test your mind,” DeDominics said. “Boot camp breaks you down and you get put in situations, and you can see how people react. It’s a big psychology project.”

At boot camp, he said many people had difficulty with his name, which is emblazoned on all his military gear. His name is pronounced “Deedominichez,” according to his mother, and his name led to several nicknames.

“I was called Alphabet, Dominos or Dedo,” he said. “No one can pronounce my name.”

Each day at boot camp in Camp Lejeune, N.C., was different, he added.

“Everything was a sprint. We even broke a sweat getting dressed, and we marched everywhere,” he said, adding that as of now, he does not plan to make the Marine Corps his career but must serve two more years.

“I plan to have an open mind. There are so many options in the military,” he added.

The Marine’s classroom visit helped students connect with their social studies curriculum, and they are learning about citizenship, said Tammy DeDominics, who is known as “Mrs. D” at the school.

“You can’t teach as well without a personal connection,” said Tammy DeDominics, who is in her 17th year of teaching. “We’re a team and a family, and Dominick’s visit helps build a connection.”

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