The Saluting Marine – Tim Chambers

saluting marine

Marine Veteran SSgt Tim Chambers has always been gregarious. As a high school student he was the school Mascot (The Silverton Fox), and loved to interact with people. Now he gets to do that all the time as “The Saluting Marine.”

Tim has been a protector since he was a child. At age 8, in a family of 6, he had to bathe his siblings, walk them to school, and watch out for them. But it was his Grandfather who provided the inspiration for his military service.

Tim’s Grandfather was a US Coast Guard WWII veteran. It was from him that Tim learned about the military and how important it is to be a friend to veterans, making life as special as possible.

When he grew up, he joined the Marine Corps. Though not a combat veteran, he served with honor in his capacity as a Staff Sergeant. Sixteen years later, after his service, he found a new calling: making life special for veterans. And they have shown him that they are grateful for his kindness and respect every day.

Tim is a student of Marine Corps History, as well as the history of the Korean War. It is his passion to teach others about the sacrifices of the fallen, and what America and her flag means.

“Honor the ultimate sacrifice, no just one day, but every day!”

Tim visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC in 2002, talking to grieving family members. While there, he saw row upon row of motorcycles-veterans. But he wasn’t aware of the POW/MIA aspect of their ride. He had found “Rolling Thunder.”

He jumped off the curb and stood in the middle of the bikers, saluting them. He has continued to be there, saluting to honor the veterans and those who have died in the service to our nation.

He speaks at events, teaching audiences about what America stands for, and what is important. He even sang the Marines Hymn for a dying veteran this year.

“It doesn’t take a uniform to display compassion and respect to others. We need these qualities in all trenches of life. These traits must be passed on to our youth, for they are our future. They will inspire others to strive, to live up to the standards of our Nation and remind those that are unhappy that it is not the Flags fault. The Flag stands for what is good about America and all the lives that have sacrificed to ensure it continues to be raised upon the United States…” Tim Chambers

Tim goes to anywhere from 15-25 events a year- funerals, fundraisers, speaking events. He has set up at the Marine Corps Marathon, the Chattanooga Memorial Ride, Rolling Thunder, The Kansas Wounded Vets Run,  and hundreds of other events. He rode 1400 miles from San Diego to Las Cruces and back in 48 hours to bring comfort to the family of a murdered Desert Storm Marine.

“A Veteran sick with cancer could not drive past the Saluting Marine so we drove from California to New Mexico I gave him a salute, and gave a living eulogy of not having regrets and signed cards for family and friends.  2 years went by they did things she never knew he would want to do, she believes my speech motivated him to live longer, I surprised her at the National Cemetary as she laid her loved one to rest in Dallas Ft. Worth.” Tim

When 30 veterans that had no family were found at a nursing home, Tim and his wife Lorraine went to bring them some comfort and caring. She has been supportive of his mission in life, even to standing with him on their wedding day. At one point he was honored with “veteran of the day” by the Marine Corps.

“The only thing that would stop me would be if I couldn’t fit into my uniform.”

Tim brings comfort and kindness to the broken, honor and respect to the forgotten, and educates those who are unaware of the sacrifices of our military. There are few people in any walk of life that would be as faithful to a work as Tim Chambers is to his calling. Semper Fidelis is not just a phrase to him- it’s a way of life.

Here is our interview with Tim on the Tank Show