Twentynine Palms -- > I enlisted two days after my 17th birthday. I grew up in Harlem, Ga. It’s a very small town, and everyone sort of grew up together. I attended a small high school; my graduating class was 130 students. It’s one of those places that everyone bashes while they are there but when you leave; its home, you have to go back.
> I’m from a very heavy military family. Most of my family is Army, but I definitely wanted to be something different.
> I’ve always liked the Marine Corps. I liked the pride and confidence I saw in Marines as well as the uniforms because they were better looking than the other branches of service. I went into the recruiting office because this is what I wanted to be.
> When I went to the recruiter, I was asked what job I wanted. Thinking about my family, I told him I wanted to do something combat related but did not want to be infantry.
> He gave me the option of artillery. Americans love big guns so, naturally I took it. Not many people can say they shoot a cannon for a living.
> Currently, I’m looking to go to section chief’s course to learn how to lead a gun crew and once I get out of the Marine Corps, I’m looking for a job in police force or security. I feel it will be a smooth transition.
> I want to be able to do something for my country and community, while not having to be away from my family. I’ve been looking at different colleges for criminal justice to give me an edge on other candidates.
> I love the outdoors. I’m married and we have two dogs; living the American dream. When we get the chance, my wife and I try to go to the beach. I love going shooting; I’m a country boy so we did that a lot. There is not much to hunt out here but, it is always nice to be able to go out to the desert and enjoy the wildlife.
> The best part of being stationed out here is being so close to everything. It’s only a couple hours away from Las Vegas or the beach.
> Every Saturday night, sports are big thing in the south. The Georgia Bulldogs are definitely my favorite to watch.
> My family is definitely proud of me out here. They are proud of what I do and what I’ve become, going from a teenager in a small town to a man on the other side of the country.
> Sgt. Justin Tullock has been my section chief since I’ve been here and has been crucial in my development as a person. He really taught me how to be a better cannoneer than I was.
> The biggest thing I will take away from the Marine Corps is leadership. While I was in high school I was in [Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps], so I got a little taste of what it’s like to be a leader, but it wasn’t taken as seriously as out here.
> Leading Marines will transition to anything I do. Maturity wise, I’m also able to see when I go home how much I’ve progressed.