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U.S. Marine Pride

Fulfilling his duty and finding love.

Glen & Carolyn Cotta

Crestview Senior Living

Crestwood, Missouri

In 1955, Drury University had not yet celebrated its centennial and President Eisenhower declared his support of South Vietnam, beginning the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. At the time, Glen Cotta was a junior at Drury studying economics and enjoying time with his Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers.

Prior to graduation, Glen decided to voluntarily join the U.S. Marines. “No other branch of the service instills the feelings of pride and brotherhood ... once a marine, always a marine,” he says.

After graduating in the spring of 1956, he found himself in Quantico, Virginia, for officer candidate school. That December, he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the reserves and spent the next eight months in basic training. During his periods of leave, he would visit his Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers. He asked a brother to help him find a date and was set up with a Kappa Delta, Carolyn Boewer. The couple began a long distance relationship.

After finishing up his active duty in 1959, Glen headed home to St. Louis.

Carolyn was finishing up her degrees in biology and chemistry at Drury University. Because Glen was heading to graduate school at the University of Minnesota and Carolyn was heading to a medical technology internship in Springfield, Missouri, they thought this would be their last date. By the time Glen was leaving later that night, the two were engaged and ready to start a life together. After Carolyn graduated in 1960, her mentor helped her transfer her internship to a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, so she could live closer to her fiancé. The two were married later that year. After the birth of their last child, Carolyn worked as a medical technologist in the lab at St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri, for 23 years. In addition to her work at the hospital, she was an active volunteer and board member at Southside Early Childhood for 50 years.

Glen completed his MBA and began working at Southwestern Bell. He joined the marine reserves unit where he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and served for 27 years.

Glen and Carolyn have a large family: six children, 12 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and counting. The couple has traveled in more than 20 countries, from Russia to Peru. They enjoy adding to their list as often as possible.