WHY I JOINED ROTARY: James “Robby” Robinson

After 20 years in the Marines, I found myself torn between wanting to maintain my relationship with the Corps and a desire to help teenagers in my adopted home of Carlsbad.

I tried public speaking at Camp Pendleton, and that helped fill some of the void in my soul, but it just wasn’t enough.

That’s when our late Mayor, Bud Lewis, stepped in to introduce me to the concept of Rotary. Under his tutelage, I quickly saw Rotary as the perfect organization to stay connected with the Corps, the high school youth at Oceanside High, and the Army/Navy Academy.

That was 24 years ago, and since then I’ve learned that Rotary goes further than the local community to include a global aspect. You never know, from one week to the next, whether you’ll be asked to help your neighbor hang Christmas lights or to assist a flood-ravaged village across the globe.

It all ties together for me under the banner of Rotary’s philosophy of service above self. And the more I get into this organization, the more I realize how much it’s in line with Marine Corps values of service to God and country.

Bud, and Rotary, helped me come home, and every day I recognize how fortunate I am to be at the nexus of Rotary and my Marine Corps family.