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A Marine’s Volkswagen Cabriolet Convertible

Author Photo
Amy Forsythe
Volkswagon Cabriolet Convertible
Just like most Marines who get assigned to their first duty station, I purchased a used car from a vendor not far from the front gate at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. I reported for duty there as a lance corporal in 1995 after an overseas tour at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. I didn’t already have a vehicle and needed to get around the sprawling base in Oceanside, California.


Despite advice from those around me to avoid these car dealers near the base, I couldn’t resist the urge to purchase the 1996 Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible. The ‘white-on-white’ VW was affordable and a perfect throwback to my teenage years…I just had to have it.


However, it wasn’t long before the car began needing service. Since it was already nine years old, it came with a few mechanical problems that I wasn’t expecting. Luckily, I lived in the mainside area of Camp Pendleton and was able to use the Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Auto Skills center where fellow Marines helped me change the oil, repair the brakes, and replace the clutch.

I was so grateful to have this service to keep my car running without having to take it somewhere off base for costly repairs and the uncertainty of how long it would take to get it back.

About the Author


Amy Forsythe served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993 to 2010, on active duty and reserves, before earning a commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve where she continues to serve as a Public Affairs Officer assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command. Amy currently serves as a federal employee as a PAO on Camp Pendleton and she’s the author of a new book titled Heroes Live Here: A Tribute to Camp Pendleton Marines Since 9/11. 

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