October 22, 2014 --
What I've Learned: Kelly Mae Hahn
By Cpl. Charles Santamaria
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Lance Cpl. Kelly Mae Hahn, combat engineer, began fishing from a young age and grew to love hunting throughout high school. She attended Western Iowa Tech Community College for police science and technology and decided to join the Marine Corps to do something different and gain experience for the career she studied. Hahn began riding motorcycles aboard the Combat Center and now enjoys riding as a hobby.
>I started fishing when I was really young. My favorite fish to catch is cat fish and when I was in high school, I began hunting live game.
>I began duck hunting at the age of 18. The first time I killed a duck I ran out into the edge of the lake and snatched it up so I could come back yelling, ‘I caught my first duck,’ arms flailing and stumbling to get back to the group. I felt really accomplished.
>Deer just stand there and you can shoot it then you track it until you find it. I have nothing against deer hunting, but with duck hunting it’s a whole different challenge. You have the duck that can fly off quickly and the challenge of hitting a moving target.
>I went to Western Iowa Tech Community College for a two-year degree in police science and technology. With the Police Science major, you can do technology, corrections, or forensics. I chose technologies because you can still be out there to do patrols and slap on the cuffs.
>I got the taser exposure and OC exposure while I went through the law enforcement portion. Both things sucked and I never want to do that again but I know I’ll have to eventually.
>Sometimes Marines tell me ‘you won’t go anywhere in the Marine Corps’ but honestly, I drove cross country to participate as a role-player and it’s a great experience. There’s just this completely different culture in California and it’s a cool place.
>I would have never experienced this place or the culture had it not been for the Marine Corps giving me that opportunity.
>I rode in the passenger seat of motorcycles many times and I just started telling myself ‘I want to actually drive one myself.’
>I did some research and found the one I wanted. When I got to the person who was selling the 2003 Yamaha V-Star, he couldn’t believe I was the one buying his bike.
>There’s this sense of freedom; when you ride a bike something just comes out, like a need to go faster. I just love the feeling of going fast on a bike, almost like a beast comes out of me.
>Although I have that urge, there’s also times when you can take it slow and go for those nice calm rides.
>Something that stuck in my mind during the Bike Rider’s Course on base is ‘always ride like everyone’s out to kill you.’ That tip has not only helped me ride better, but also helped me become a better driver with all vehicles.
>The part that really sold me on the bike was the purple stripes, which is my favorite color. Eventually I want to upgrade to a bigger bike with more power.
>There’s this bond between a rider and their bike. It’s almost like a horse, each bike is different and behaves unique, so the longer you ride it, the more you become accustomed to how it works and it makes a special relationship between you and the bike.