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Marine Corporal Clayton Pitre, father of WSU Everett dean, to raise Seahawks’ 12 Flag

WSU dean Paul Pitre and Corporal Clayton Pitre after Seahawks' practice on Veterans Day. Photo courtesy of Seattle Seahawks.
WSU dean Paul Pitre and Corporal Clayton Pitre after Seahawks’ practice on Veterans Day. Photo courtesy of Seattle Seahawks.

EVERETT, Wash. – Nov. 12, 2015 – U.S. Marine Corporal Clayton Pitre, 91, the father of WSU North Puget Sound at Everett dean Paul Pitre, will raise the Seahawks’ 12 Flag before the Sunday Night Football game with the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. On Veterans Day, both father and son met with Seahawks coaches and players after practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“This is an incredible and well-deserved honor for my father,” said dean Pitre. “I am so proud of his service in uniform and in the community, and I’ll be standing by his side cheering as he raises the Seahawks’ 12 Flag on Sunday.”

According to records from the Secretary of State, “The longtime Seattleite fought two wars in the spring of 1945 – prejudice on the home front and tyranny abroad. He acquired the grit of a U.S. Marine in a country that labeled him inferior, and the dodged enemy fire on an island subjected to suicide warfare.”

The description continues, “Pitre and 20,000 African Americans broke the color barrier in World War II when they trained at a segregated base in Jacksonville, North Carolina and joined one of the most elite military organizations in the world. No black man had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps since a known slave from Delaware fought in the Revolutionary War with a handful of other African American Continental Marines.”

Corporal Pitre was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012 and continues to support change in the community by helping to fund and build low-income housing in Seattle, as well as helping run the African-American Dollars for Scholars Foundation that helps send African-American student to college.

In a release from the Seattle Seahawks, Corporal Pitre said, “I think it is something that one should do. For 17 years, I helped operate the African American Dollars for Scholars Foundation… Life can be better, and you can help make it better just by using your energy. I felt like life was better for me (with a college degree), and I knew that if a kid got his diploma and went to college, he would be a heck of a lot better, and I saw that happen.”

That college degree had a tremendous impact on Corporal Pitre’s life and serves as an inspiration for his son at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett, where 33 percent of students are the first in their family to attend college.

View more photos from the visit to the VMAC on here.

Contact: Randy Bolerjack