“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world, but Marines don’t have that problem”. – Ronald Reagan
It’s commencement season again and Malden is full of proud parents, lively graduation parties and enthusiastic, tassel-capped seniors. After four years of high school, SATs and nerve wracking final exams, these students deserve a relaxing summer before heading off to college and the next phase of their lives. Eighteen-year-old Cameron Selfridge on the other hand, has twelve days before leaving for a 13-week boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Cam graduated this year from Everett’s Pope John High School with a GPA of 3.9, taking all honors and AP classes. However, instead of becoming a freshman at a high-ranking college in September, he chose to join the US Marine Corps.
“He’s just decided it’s what he wants to do,” said Cameron’s father, Malden police officer Robert Selfridge. Cam will leave for Basic Training on June 25 and graduate as a Marine on September 21. He will serve a minimum of five years and then choose to either sign a new contract or end his military career. Cam has said that his ultimate goal is to work for the ATF or DEA.
“He actually enlisted last July 11th at age 17, under the job Security Forces,” said Trisha Selfridge, Cameron’s mother. “He could have gotten in any college, but he chose this.”
The graduation party on June 10 at the Jackson Suite Function Hall was attended by friends, family and quite a few celebrities including Mayor Gary Christensen and comedians Dave Russo and Anthony Scibelli.
Former Malden resident Dave Russo is the host of NESN’s Dirty Water TV and one of the most sought-after performers in the country. The Selfridge family met Russo last year. “In planning the party I was trying to think of something “fun” for the day,” said Cam’s mother. “He [Russo] graciously agreed to be there for us. Dave also has done a lot of work for the USO and has a lot of respect for the military – great guy.”
In a recent article in The Mercury, the student newspaper of Pope John High School, Cam said “Yes, being a Marine comes with plenty of perks such as good pay, free college tuition, the opportunity to travel the world and wearing nice uniforms but I’m doing it because of who the Marine Corps will make me; a man who is loyal, hard-working and will do anything to protect his country… This is something I have wanted to do for years; seriously, I can’t wait to be awakened every day at 4 a.m. by an angry drill sergeant screaming out ridiculous orders for me to follow.”
“Let me just thank the men and women in blue. You’re really keeping the city going and I’m grateful for all that you do,” said the mayor when he took the podium after Russo. “There was no way I was going to miss today’s “send off” for Cameron. Cameron has chosen to take the extra step to defend our city, state, country ─ and the world for that matter. Congratulations and thank you for all that you’re about to do for us.”