BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Earl Aune grew up on a farm near Wilton North Dakota.

“It’s been an experience growing up on a farm, but still like it,” said Earl Aune.

However, when Aune was younger, he had a taste for adventure. He wanted to get out of the small town of Wilton and travel.

“I wanted to get away from here. When you’re young and stupid you have dumb ideas. There’s a gal I met a couple of minutes ago that said she came up from Mississippi,” said Aune.

His parents pushed him to get an education, but Aune says he was stubborn.

“I guess I was a little snot when I was a kid. My folks wanted me to go to school. Well, I argued about it,” said Aune.

So, with his parents blessing at age 17, he entered into the Marine Corps in 1964. His first stop was basic training which was in San Diego, California.

“After San Diego, I went to Camp Pendleton for combat training,” said Aune. “And then from there, I was sent to Memphis Tennessee. It was a naval air station. And we were trained there for the job we were going to do. “

He was then sent to South Carolina to work on jet aircraft.

“F4 fighter jets, that’s what I worked on,” said Aune. “They are an awesome plane. I always wanted to ride in the back of one of them but they wouldn’t let me.”

Not long after that, the Marines started looking for volunteers to go to Vietnam. In 1966 he traveled with many others to Vietnam.

“We flew under the clouds and it was just like night and day,” said Aune. “We came from nice beautiful sunshine to stormy clouds, it was raining. “

According to Aune, it rained a lot. So much so that he had to work with wet clothes.

“We had so many changes of clothes,” said Aune. “They were all work clothes but you had changes of them. And they were wet. So, you would take the driest pair of clothes to put on. “

Aune says being in the military causes you to become close with your comrades. However, getting attached comes with its challenges.

“You’re always afraid if you go into combat with them, one of you isn’t coming back. And you have a hard time with that,” said Aune.

After a total of four years of being in the Marines Aune was able to come back home to North Dakota. Just in time for the holidays.

“It was Christmas 1967, my mother came out, came running out of the house. It amazed her that it was me,” said Aune.

Aune says he is proud to have served in the Marine Corps. As the saying goes, once a Marine always a Marine.