Recruiter moving up in Corps

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 29, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Marines protect presidents, nuclear weapon sites and embassies around the globe.

But they also perform duties that go almost without notice. Staff Sgt. Kelvin A. Towe, the U.S. Marine Corps recruiter in Suffolk, has served this city, virtually without recognition, for the past three years.

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The Chesapeake native began serving here in 2001, and during his tour of duty, has enlisted 80 young men and women from high schools in Suffolk, Franklin and Southampton County.

Towe performed so well, in fact, in bringing in recruits for the corps that he has been reassigned to the 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, N.C. There, he will serve as a section leader on amphibious vehicles, a promotion for the staff sergeant.

The corps is famous for caring for its own and it is certainly doing the right thing for Towe. He will be honored with a special luncheon March 5, just before leaving for his new assignment.

Stepping in to fill Towe’s shoes is Cpl. Dexter Sterling, one of the Marines he inducted.

Sterling, a native of Trinidad and former New York resident, will serve as interim recruiter until a permanent replacement takes the post in April.

&uot;I’m very excited about serving in Suffolk since it was Sgt. Towe who recruited me,&uot; said Sterling. &uot;He is a role model and mentor to me and several other young men and women.&uot;

Towe, a high school honor graduate, entered the Marine Corps’ delayed entry program in 1992 and later attended the Marine Corps Recruit Training Program. After earning a degree in criminology from San Diego State College, Towe was promoted to staff sergeant.

In December 2000, Towe volunteered to serve as a Marine recruiter and was assigned to the recruiting station in Richmond. Since coming to western Tidewater in 2001, he has become one of the top 10 recruiters in Virginia.

Towe holds three good conduct medals, two National defense medals, a sea service medal, a meritorious unit citation and five meritorious mast awards. He has been honored as the Marine Recruiter of the Month four times. He also received five letters of commendation.

Towe is married to the former Cynthia Gail Harris of Shreveport, La. They have three children, Dewayne, 16, Asia, 11, and Kevon, 3.

For more information on joining the Marine Corps, call Sterling at 934-2211.