Chris’s conversation: Marine Future

When you think of graduation, you think of freedom from high school, you think of the college you plan to attend and you think about where you will go from there. My whole life I’ve been thinking towards the future and like every kid, I wanted to have a career that I would enjoy (along with receiving a large salary to sustain myself and my future family). I have switched up on what I wanted to do with my life so many times that I just became confused.

This year I decided that I wanted to be a Marine. To become a marine, it takes a lot of discipline, hard work and dedication. Without those qualities, you will have a very difficult time at boot camp. My friend Charles was already enlisted so I decided to talk to him about joining. We had a discussion on why I should join at least from his perspective and he offered to take me to the recruiting station, as soon as school ended he took me to his recruiting station and I talked to Sargent Martinez the recruiter for our school. He explained to me all of the benefits of joining then what the papers I signed meant and what they were for.

February 5 was the day I went to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). If you ever talk to anyone who has been to MEPS, I promise you that you will hear some bad things, but I can assure you that those are major over exaggerations. You may feel uncomfortable at times but it is bearable. I stayed at a hotel with people who were leaving for boot camp or basic training in the morning, along with others who joined me in the late entry program, but out of all people who were enlisting the next day I noticed I was the only one going into the marines. We all woke up at about 4:00 AM and ate breakfast, got onto the bus and arrived at the MEPS building, which does happen to have a military feel, which I understand from staying at army bases for competition in JROTC. I went through all their tests and felt uncomfortable at times, like I mentioned, but I passed all their tests and officially became a Poolee (someone enlisted in the marine corps who has yet to go through boot camp).

Since my enlistment process, I have made many friends within the poolee program. Most of us get along because we all have something in common, which happens to be that our goal in this program is to become a marine. We used to have a mass pt session every Thursday, which included all recruiters and their poolees, but that soon changed to each recruiter would have their own individual pt day, my day being Wednesday. After every pt session the Martinez poolees, which consist of my best friends Charles, Luis, Rodney and myself with the exception of Gavin who is a poolee of Sargent Padilla, meet up at Whataburger and after we run our dreaded IST on the second Saturday of the month, we spend the rest of the day hanging out and having fun.

Our days here are limited with some of us leaving for boot camp right after graduation and others leaving at the start of the next school year. My ship date is September 24 so I’ve got plenty of time to prepare myself and do what I can while I’m still here. The only downside is that I’d be leaving alone. None of my current friends will experience this with me. This is something most of us will have to get through by ourselves, but out in the real world we don’t always have someone by our side or anyone to guide us through. We have to learn to face things alone and this will be one of my experiences. The last event I can think of that I get to share with my closest friends is graduation and after that everyone starts that next chapter in their lives. Some of us will be gone, others like me already have their future planned and all they need to do is wait, and the rest will be going head first into life starting their jobs or putting their careers into action. I will continue to wait and have fun with my family and friends until the day I leave.  Farewell to all my friends and family here at CCHS.