by Jordan DeWald
“Once a Marine, always a Marine.”
Mike Perdue serves his community in a different way than when he was in active duty, but he still follows the values instilled in him in the United States Marine Corps. His lifelong heart for serving others has taken him from caring for people with special needs as a young person, to serving the United States as a Marine, and now to serving his community through his personal and professional life.
While enlisting in the military was not Mike Perdue’s plan, he describes it as the best thing that could have happened to him. Growing up as a musician he wanted to be a rock star, but life had other plans. He grew up in Arlington and seemed to stay in trouble. His father, a former Navy man, knew the benefits a military enlistment could have on his son. While his father wanted him to join the Navy, Perdue chose his own path and went into the Marine Corps at the age of eighteen. Perdue proudly served for eight years, six in active duty and two in the reserve. As an Intelligence Chief, he was assigned to a Sniper Platoon within a Marine Infantry Battalion out of Camp Pendleton, California. He deployed often and stopped counting after he had been to twenty countries. In December of 1990, he was sent by ship to the Persian Gulf for the liberation of Kuwait. His unit was one of the first Marine ground units to enter Kuwait during the ground invasion.
The deployments changed Perdue’s life, forever providing perspective and appreciation for the country he served. He lived, albeit temporarily, in third-world countries and witnessed the extreme poverty and struggle that people lived with. It left him with a feeling of gratitude for the country which he grew up in and would be returning to. Perdue ended his time in the Marines in 1993 as a Sergeant (E-5) but his sense of patriotism has remained strong. He has a unique understanding, that many people aren’t afforded, about how blessed the people of the United States are to live there.
Perdue returned to his hometown of Arlington, Texas. He is married with two kids. His son followed in his footsteps and joined the Marine Corps and his daughter attends Centennial High School. He spent five years in law enforcement and in 1998 opened a small business with his wife, which they had for several years. He began his career in the mortgage industry and has been in it for eighteen years. This career is what brought him to Burleson, Texas. He has worked in the town since 2013 and moved there in 2020. Perdue manages The Perdue Group for Service First Mortgage in Old Town Burleson. He is also back on stage! He is the lead singer and plays guitar in The Seven 6, a popular local band.
“Respect breeds respect.” “Do the right thing when no one is looking.” These are just two of the values instilled in Perdue by the Marine Corps that has shaped who he is in the decades since his service. He was raised in a family with traditional American values. He spent his youth volunteering, particularly with people with special needs. He always felt the responsibility to take up for people who could not defend themselves. The Marines then provided the experiences that reinforced his upbringing and taught him the value of that service. He attributes his time in the military as being paramount in shaping his passion for service and molding his character. What stood out to Perdue about his time in service, was “you will put your life on the line for the Marine next to you, even if you don’t know them. Putting your life in the hands of another person and them putting their life in your hands, is a true brotherhood that most people will never experience in their lifetime.”
In the Marine Corps, Perdue and his unit would often sweep in unnoticed to do a mission and leave without anyone knowing they were there. Perdue is a part of a new unit now that does the same thing for their community. Affectionately referred to as the Sons of Burleson, he and some other men in the community have quietly banded together to take care of others who are in need. Perdue has always had a big heart with a desire to help others and being a part of this group has let him join forces with men who have the same goal. Whether they are barbecuing a meal for the Burleson Police Department or doing other “undercover” work, these guys are taking care of their community one person at a time.
His business also allows him to serve the community. Perdue has raised money for Christmas Wreaths that were placed at the graves of Veterans buried at DFW National Cemetery. In an attempt to unite a cutthroat real estate community, he formed The Burleson Real Estate Professionals Group in 2017 for his peers in the real estate community. This group has grown to have monthly networking events, building relationships and partnerships for over four years now. They also use the time to raise money for local nonprofits. Perdue is most proud of hosting the annual Burleson Christmas Ball and Toy Drive for the real estate community where they collect toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. Multiple businesses throughout Burleson open their office space to be drop-off locations for the toy donations and they celebrate with a Christmas Ball for the real estate community to benefit Toys for Tots. After the event they are able to take a moving truck’s filled with toys to the distribution center where the USMC will then distribute the toys to kids in the community who are in need.
A Marine never stops being a Marine, even once they are living as a civilian. Mike Perdue is an example of this, as he has continued to defend the honor of his country, serve others, and extend a hand to the people who need it.