Twentynine Palms -- > Growing up, I lived with my dad in a small town in Michigan. In Battle Creek everyone knew each other on a personal level.
> My parents divorced when I was three years old and shortly thereafter they met their significant others who I consider family.
> My dad was always a fisherman and hunter, so at a young age I picked up an interest in those activities. I have always had a competitive side to me and these sports only fueled that energy.
> I always had a passion for horses and that was one thing I did not pick up from my dad. By the time I was seven I started taking riding lessons and working with horses. I found it to be a pretty unique experience to communicate with something that doesn’t talk. Spending time with the animals helped me escape reality.
> As I grew older I purchased my first horse and competitively showed horses throughout high school. I never showed a horse that was given to me fully trained and when it came show time it helped me to appreciate all the hard work I put into training my project horse. The more ribbons you won, the better you were at training the horse, which was the most rewarding part.
> Living with my dad meant I had to follow his rules and there were a lot, but I deeply value the way I was raised. Early on in life I learned how to be independent. If I wanted to take riding lessons, I paid for it. If I wanted a horse or a phone, I paid for it.
> After I graduated high school, I moved to the next town over about 20 miles down the road. I met a girl earlier that year and we lived together in a studio apartment above her dad’s garage. Because of my upbringing the transition was smooth. It was my first taste of freedom.
> When I was 19 years old I decided to fulfill my childhood dreams of enlisting in the military. I always admired the recognition they received and have had a healthy respect for what they do for our country. Joining the military was something my dad always wanted to do, but was unable to. I joined in hopes of making him proud.
> A year later, when I was in my military occupational school, I met my husband. Early on in our relationship I learned motorcycles were a huge part of his life. I used to strongly dislike motorcycles because of how dangerous they are, but I wanted to be a part of that lifestyle with him. So I went into it with an open mind and my opinion quickly changed. After three rides with my husband, I fell madly in love with riding motorcycles.
> I fell in love with riding when I noticed I was able to get on that bike and ride any worries and stress away. I take that time to speak to God and let my mind be free.
> A bible verse I live by is John 15:13; greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This bible verse helped me build my faith in the lord and to have the strength to push through Marine Corps boot camp.
> My husband has been with me for most of my enlistment and has helped me through the difficult challenges I have faced. Although he lives and works back home in Michigan as a crane operator, he has been extremely supportive.
> The two people I look up to the most in my life are my dad and my husband. They both share similar traits such as being humble and kind. They’re both hard workers and love with their whole heart. I always strive to develop those traits because they are such enjoyable people to be around.
> One thing I am going to miss about the Marine Corps is the camaraderie that the Corps has. Everyone leans on each other for support to get through the tough times because that’s all they have.