Back on active duty, he took a Bible study course and switched to work as an alcohol and drug counselor at what was then Miramar Naval Air Station.
In 1993, he left the Navy with the intention of becoming a chaplain. The Navy chaplaincy corps, which supplies chaplains to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, requires bachelor's and graduate degrees.
Radetski graduated from Bethel College in San Diego and received a graduate degree from Bethel Theological Seminary. He rejoined the Navy as a chaplain, ordained by the Baptist general convention.
His served as a chaplain aboard an amphibious assault ship for three years with the Coast Guard in Astoria, Ore., before being transferred to the Marines last year. Now, Radetski's future is unclear because, amid military downsizing, there are fewer chaplains and fewer promotion opportunities.
He wants to spend time with his wife, Kristi, a former special education teacher; and their children, Rachel, 8; Benjamin, 4; and Nathaniel, 2. After 23 years on active duty, he qualifies for a pension. He's given thought to joining a church in Oceanside or maybe doing missionary work.
Since the fighting has slackened, he has been part of the Marines' effort to reach out to communities around Fallouja -- handing out toys, soccer balls and candy to children. He will be part of a counseling program to help relieve the potential for post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Still, those dangerous days in Fallouja will always be with him.
"It's been incredibly challenging: draining at times, rewarding at times -- it rips your heart out at times," he said, his voice breaking.
"But I don't think I could do anything more important than to be side by side with someone as courageous as a Marine."