Sease shares experiences in Marines

T-R PHOTO BY CHUCK FRIEND U.S. Marine E5 Sgt. Bradley Sease of Marshalltown holds a picture of himself in his “dress blues” while serving in the Marine Corps from 1980-87 that included six months in Japan.

Editor’s note: This is the latest in an ongoing series of articles profiling those who have ever served in the U.S. military, be it overseas or stateside. Every Thursday, a new profile will be published in the T-R.

From 1981-87, U.S. Marine Corps E5 Sgt. Bradly Sease of Marshalltown has spent his time in avionics (aviation electronics), that is after a one-year stint as a recruitment officer here in Marshalltown while in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1980-81. His active service time includes a six-month tour of duty in Japan, a short stint is Okinawa, and two tours each in Yuma, Ariz., and Key West, Fla.

Sease attended boot camp in San Diego, Calif., from May through August of 1981, then attended avionics training school at Millington, Tenn. He was stationed as an aerial camera technician based out of El Toro, Calif., for the next six years, with his tours of duty taking place during this time. He said he worked on high altitude cameras that could read a license plate on a car from 5,600 feet.

“I enjoyed working on aircraft and the cameras, it was great to watch the planes come in and to see missiles in slow motion go in and blow up stuff,” Sease said. “These were phantom jets such as the one on display at the Legion grounds in Marshalltown except with different configurations — some that would blow out metal particles called chaff. The missile would take off after the chaff and blow it up instead of a plane.”

Sease noted that while in Arizona some of the pilots had issues from the townspeople, because they would fly too low, breaking the sound barrier and shattering windows in houses.

The reason Sease said he left the military was because such a large number of recruits were coming at the time and that meant that there was not near as much of a chance for advancement. “I soon realized that I could have retired after 30 years if I had stayed in,” he added.

Noting that military life has been a common thread within his family, Sease said he has a son currently in boot camp in Texas looking to get into the intelligence field, and a brother who served in the Marine Corps fighting in two wars: Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Some of Sease’s commendations include the Rifle Marksman badge; the Meritorious Mast; two good conduct medals; the Sea Service Deployment ribbon; and a letter and certificate of appreciation.

“This was a good experience for me and I am very glad I could do it. Now I am very proud of my son’s accomplishments,” Sease said. “In addition, I really want to thank all of the veterans who have fought and still are fighting for this country today.


Do you know a military veteran who should be profiled? Send your suggestions to Editor Jeff Hutton at: or contact American Legion Post 46 Commander Randy Kessler at: