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Nick Popaditch

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Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch worked for the Indiana Department of Corrections from April 1994 to September 1995 at the IYC.  Nick said that his work as a corrections officer prepared him to be a Marine primarily because of what he learned about communication.  According to Nick, “In both situations you can't always overpower someone but need to communicate effectively to avoid problems.”  While with corrections, he also was prepared by learning unarmed combat skills.


Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986. While commanding a tank, he was wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Nick was medically retired from the Marines in 2005 at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.  Nick Popaditch is the author of Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery.


According to the book description of Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery, “Readers in and out of the military will stand up and cheer for this valiant Marine's Marine, a man who embodies everything noble and proud in the Corps' long tradition. Never has modern mechanized combat seemed so immediate and real, or the fight in Iraq seemed so human and worth believing in.


At first, Nick fights to get back to where he was in Iraq-in the cupola of an M1A1 main battle tank, leading Marines in combat at the point of the spear. As the seriousness and permanence of his disabilities become more evident, Nick fights to remain in the Corps in any capacity, to help the brothers in arms he so aches to rejoin. Facing the inevitable following a medical retirement, he battles for rightful recognition and compensation for his permanent disabilities. Throughout his harrowing ordeal, Nick fights to maintain his honor and loyalty, waging all these battles the same way-the Marine way-because anything less would be a betrayal of all he holds dear.


The real triumph in Once a Marine is its previously untold, behind-the-scenes tale of the day-to-day life of a career Marine noncommissioned staff officer. In most books and movies, a "Gunny" is little more than a cardboard character. Nick's portrayal is a man complete: a husband and father, as well as a warrior and a molder of young warriors. He reveals himself completely, something no memoirist in his position has ever done before. This includes our very personal introduction to his wife April, whose heroics in the story equal Nick's, together with dozens of others who, as Sgt. Popaditch writes, gave so much, so selflessly and freely, to him. Like the man himself, Once a Marine is full of gratitude and refreshingly free of false bravado and braggadocio.


All Americans, of all political persuasions, have a duty to meet this courageous and admirable fighting man, an exemplar of all our military men and women who give so much out of love for their nation. Meeting Gunny Sergeant Popaditch through the pages of his inspirational memoir offers up new reasons to be proud and shoulder our own responsibilities as Americans. Once a Marine will instantly take its place among outstanding combat classics. And once you read this remarkable and uplifting book, The Marine's Hymn will never sound the same.”

Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery
Nick Popaditch  More Info

About the Indiana Department of Corrections 

According to the Indiana Department of Correction, it “is an agency within the Executive Branch of State Government. By statute, the General Assembly defines the qualifications needed to lead the Department or the facilities operated by the Department. The Governor appoints the Commissioner, who acts as the Department’s Chief Executive Officer, overseeing all aspects of the Department.


The Commissioner appoints the Department’s Deputy Commissioners, other members of the Department’s Executive Staff, and the Superintendents at each facility operated by the Indiana Department of Correction. Reporting to the Commissioner are the Deputy Commissioners of Operations and Re-Entry. Also reporting to the Commissioner are the Department’s General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of Administration, Executive Director of Juvenile Services, Communications Chief, and Chief of Staff.”


The Indiana Department of Corrections is a full-service correctional agencies with many different divisions and responsibilities.  As an example, the Indian Department of Corrections delivers inmate services through the Division of Medical and Clinical Services and the Division of Community Corrections.


The IDC says, “The Community Corrections Division assists the Department of Correction in fulfilling its mission by establishing and operating community corrections programs that dissuade crime or delinquency, divert offenders from the Department, provide programs for committed offenders and/or persons ordered to participate in community corrections as a condition of probation. Community Corrections also oversees the Transition and Forensic Diversion Programs in which all counties are eligible to participate. Each Community Corrections agency is governed by local advisory boards, of which membership is established by state statute. Programs vary by county and types of programs include work release, home detention, community transition, day reporting, work crew and a variety of juvenile alternative programs. In addition, programs provide numerous services including risk and needs assessments, behavior plans, cognitive skills programs, job skills, and substance abuse assessments and treatment.”




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