Meet Roland Scarinci, the 96 year old World War II veteran who won our hearts:
He joined the United States Marine Corps in December 1942 with his mom’s approval. He was only 17. Roland was eventually assigned to the 1st Marine Division, stationed in the Pacific Theatre in the Solomon Islands, and participated in the invasion of Okinawa.
Corporal Scarinci is now a spry 96 year old veteran who says, “Serving in the Marines was the greatest time of my life … I have a lot of love for this country, a lot of love.”
At the war, he returned to his family home in Overbrook with his parents and three brothers, two of whom served in the military during World War II (US Army & Navy).
Shortly after he met his wife, Gloria, on a Philadelphia transit bus and have been married for 71 years! They moved to Northeast Philly to raise their two children where Roland worked as a paymaster for a Philadelphia area transportation company for 30 years and then as a house painter. With no signs of slowing down, Roland became an armed security guard and did security work until the age of 90. Then this happened:
96-year-old World War II vet Roland Scarinci, going viral for his jazzy rendition of "God Bless America" will be in our studio Wednesday at 8:20am. ???? #TuneIn [???? via @phillies @nbcsphilly]
1,240 Likes, 24 Comments - The Preston & Steve Show (@prestonandsteveshow) on Instagram: "96-year-old World War II vet Roland Scarinci, going viral for his jazzy rendition of "God Bless..."
Roland has been playing the harmonica since he was 8 years old when his older brother gifted him the instrument. Today, he loves to entertain folks by playing patriotic songs and Frank Sinatra standards while wearing his Marine Corps dress blues uniform. Corporal Scarinci has played countless events including the Marine Corps birthday, patriotic gatherings, Special Olympics, and most recently the Phillies game.
Listen to Roland's interview with The Preston & Steve Show (Wednesday, March 5th)