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Why I Serve: Recruit Joined Marines for Challenge, Opportunity

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C., Nov. 9, 2004 – "I wanted something more" out of life, Marine Corps Recruit Nina N. Garcia said a few days before she was to graduate from recruit training here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Recruit Nina N. Garcia, 18, looks forward to her Nov. 5 graduation from Parris Island in a Nov. 2 photo. She said she joined the Marines for the challenge and opportunity. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Earning a college degree was definitely one of her goals as she was finishing up high school, but Garcia also wanted to challenge herself on another level, she said. So, last year, when she was a high school senior, the Fort Collins, Colo., native joined the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program.

The 18-year-old Garcia was set to become a U.S. Marine Nov. 5, after completing 12 weeks of arduous training. Garcia said she learned "a lot of discipline" at Parris Island, which has trained Marine recruits since 1915.

Instructors on Parris Island rifle ranges taught her how to shoot, and she also became a better swimmer thanks to the Marines, she said. Embracing and employing teamwork, Garcia observed, provides the key for recruits to successfully complete the Marines' famously tough training. "Everything depends on teamwork," Garcia emphasized, noting, "There's no 'I' in team."

The Marine Corps offers young people "challenge, opportunity, and (a way) to serve our country with the best," she said.

And, Marines' proud personal bearing, Garcia noted, sets them apart "from any other branch of the military."

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Related Sites:
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.
Why I Serve

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