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Pfc. Ronald B. Thompson, administrative clerk, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, native of Durham, North Carolina, is the youngest of six boys. He enjoys fishing and hunting because it is a way for him to bond with his family.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

What I've Learned: Ronald B. Thompson

18 Feb 2015 | Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

I like to fish, hunt and play football. I’ve been fishing and hunting since I was a little kid. I learned both from my dad.

I started playing football when I was in middle school.

I was 12 when I got started. My middle school teacher, who was a football coach as well, told me that he wanted me to come and try out. I did, and ever since then I’ve been playing. He’s been a mentor to me. If there was a problem in school, I knew I could go talk to him about it or, if he knew I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to, he would come and talk to me about it. He helped me stay on the right path.

Football is a fun sport to play. It’s knowing that you have to work as a team to accomplish a goal and everybody has to pull their own weight. You might be the best player in the world but if your team doesn’t pull together, it won’t matter.

On a football team you have a brotherhood and, if you set out to accomplish a goal, as long as everybody on the football team is trying to accomplish the same goal, you feel like nothing can stop you. It gives you a chance to release any stress or frustrations that you’ve had during that week.

I normally went fishing with my dad, but if my uncles were around, then they would come too. I like to fish at lakes and rivers. It’s a great time to relax and clear your mind. When you actually get a fish on the line it’s exciting. The type of fish you catch depends on the type of bait you use, sometimes we try to catch catfish and other times we’ll go for bass or crappie. With fishing you have to be patient in order to catch what you want.

It’s a bonding experience and I value family and the time I spend with them.

I have five older brothers, and I’m the youngest of six kids.

My brothers and I have certain things in common and I have learned a lot from them. They made sure that I learned from their mistakes so I wouldn’t make the same ones they made.

I like to go to the gym. Every morning before school, my oldest brother would pick me up, and we would go. That was something that we shared together.

I love hunting. The catch is my favorite part. I love the adrenaline rush. You want to move fast but you know if you do too much you could startle the deer. You have to continue to have patience and be stealthy but at the same time you have to move fast because it will pick up on your scent and get away.

I had two uncles that were in the military. One was in the Army, the other one was in the Marine Corps. I talked to them about joining and they were very supportive. We spoke about it while we were fishing one day and they were happy with my choice.

I’ve been in the Marine Corps for seven months. I joined to better myself, and I knew it would be a great career to have. My friend that is in the Marine Corps told me great things and he persuaded me to join.

My favorite thing about the Marine Corps is the brotherhood. I have seen a lot of camaraderie with Marines, things that most people won’t do for a complete stranger.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms