Our community has much to offer and provides much to be proud of for those who call Forsyth County and the surrounding areas home. Our young people certainly give us something to boast about. Recently, Gunnery Sergeant Blakes of the US Marine Corps Recruiting Office shared that 54 young men and women have voluntarily enlisted to serve our country as US Marines. That’s remarkable and worthy of our applause and attention. Meet a few of these young people. . . .
Madison Andrews graduated early from Reagan High School (in January of this year) and will be heading to Parris Island for her basic training. She plans to further her education while in the Marines by taking college courses on-line. She has committed to four years of service and chosen communications as her MOS (Military Occupation Specialty). Madison shared that she is excited to continue her family’s tradition of service in the Marine Corps. She will be considered a Legacy Marine, since she will be training at Camp Lejeune, the same base where her dad received his training.
Vanessa Elliott shared that she’s looking forward to the challenges of training and serving as a Marine. Vanessa graduated from East Forsyth High School and was active in their ROTC program as a Cadet Captain/Alpha Company Commander. Her dad was also a Marine, with 23 years of service. Vanessa shared that she hopes to make her career within the Marines and has selected administration as her top MOS. She is scheduled to head to boot camp in early December. “I’m excited to see the world,” Vanessa shared, “and to prove that women are as empowered as men.” She’s hoping to see more women step up to join the Marines in the future. Dressed in her Marine T-shirt with her hair pulled up in a tight bun, she already exemplifies a military demeanor.
Jacob Simpson recently graduated from West Forsyth High School and was active in their ROTC program. Jacob will be the first Marine in his family. “I’ve always been interested in the military. The organization and order appeals to me,” he explained. Jacob has selected the military police as his first MOS choice and hopes to work with a K-9 unit in the future; his second choice is diesel mechanic. He shipped out in late September to begin his training. He hopes to make the Marines his life’s career and shared his motivational saying, “when it gets hard, keep pushing.”
Weston Carrazco, an early graduate of Walkertown High School, is scheduled to ship out on November 27th for boot camp. Weston shared that he’s thought and prayed about joining the Marines since the 8th grade. Weston explained that he’s always liked working on cars and seeing how things work. His MOS selections highlight those interests—avionics technician, motor transport, or combat engineer. His great-grandfather served as a Marine in World War II. As Weston stated, “I’m looking forward to being a Marine and am happy and proud to serve.” Weston’s commitment was so strong that his parents signed for him to join at age 17.
Antwan Rucker graduated from West Forsyth High School in June and was an ROTC Cadet Captain. Since his childhood, he has dreamed of joining the military and making that his career. He is awaiting final clearance, with his ship-out date pending. He is the oldest of three brothers and the first to join the military since his grandfather. Antwan keeps busy with physical training in anticipation of boot camp, with the thought that “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
These five young men and women have made the decision to serve our country right out of high school. They, as a group, are confident and eager to face the challenges ahead of them. As a community, let’s join in applauding the commitment and dedication of our recruits, keeping them and their families in our prayers as they launch their careers as United States Marines.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” ~ Ronald Reagan