Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.
My nephew, Hunter Stark, graduated from boot camp last week. He is now a proud United States Marine.
Hunter joined the Marines Early Enlistment Program during the summer before his senior year of high school. During that year he met weekly with his recruiter and worked out with like minded “Poolees” for PT (Physical Training) in preparation for boot camp. Knowing he was joining the Marines was one thing, but leaving for boot camp was something totally different. It was hard for his mom and dad to see him go, and to have no communication with him for three months.... but they (and all who know him) were very proud of him.
He joined the USMC for the adventure and to challenge himself. His boot camp experience, in his words, was “amazing, extremely painful and fun!” He also “learned a lot of cool shit!”. It was clear in looking at him that he had gotten stronger, and evident in talking with him that the being a Marine has a positive impact on him.
While at boot camp he was awarded the leadership position of squad leader (there were only 4 out of the 85 in his platoon), earned the Rifle Expert Badge and the National Defense Medal for enlisting during time of war. Additionally, he graduated boot as a Private First Class (instead of Private) due to having previously earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
What was the BEST part?: “ Being part of something elite.”
What was the WORST part?: “Being away from family for so long.” (13 weeks with no communication except through delayed mail communication).
What is next? This week he returns for more schooling and then his five year commitment to proudly serve our nation. We can all feel a little safer with this Marine on duty!
So far he says this has been an amazing experience and one he would definitely do all over again! And he definitely belongs here on the "Cool Things My Friends Do" weekly blog post (the kid is a stud).
Have A Great Day