Twentynine Palms -- I was born in Los Angeles but moved to Las Vegas when I was little, so that’s where I call home. Growing up in Las Vegas is not what most people assume; there is more to Vegas than just The Strip.
I always knew I wanted to be in the armed services, I just didn’t know what branch. I became very involved in JROTC [Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps] since I was old enough to join.
Being active in JROTC taught me a lot about leadership. I worked hard and became the drill team commander, operations commander of the unit and head of the physical fitness team. Going into the Marine Corps with JROTC training helped me become a leader. I was able to help teach others the discipline that is necessary to strive in an institution like this.
My father was my biggest role model and was also a Marine. When I first looked into the military, he didn’t want me to join the Marine Corps. When he saw how hard-working and dedicated I was, he gave me his approval to join the Corps. I knew from that point on what branch I wanted to be a part of.
I wanted to be an armorer in the Marine Corps because my father’s love for guns sparked my own interest. When it comes to weapons, I can do pretty much anything regarding assembling, disassembling and cleaning the weapons we have.
One of the things I love most about the Marine Corps is the discipline it instills in Marines as soon as they join. Everyone has the mentality when you’re told to do something you do it, which helps things run smoothly and keep us, especially at the armory, on task and ahead of the game.
Since I’ve arrived in Twentynine Palms, I have grown to love hiking. There are so many different places to hike here such as Joshua Tree National Park, Whitewater Preserve and Havasupai Falls. Hiking is enjoyable because you can take the time to relax and enjoy the scenery.
When I have special liberty, I like to travel to places like Los Angeles, San Diego, or anywhere I haven’t been. Being around these major cities is nice because you get to experience different cultures and tourist attractions.
I want to start college in the fall so that I can be finished by the time I get out of the Marine Corps. I want to pursue my dream job of owning my own sports fitness clothing store. I enjoy fashion and fitness, so when I get out of the Marine Corps, why not combine both?
In my time in the Corps I’ve learned to be social with the people I’m going to be around for the next few years. When I got here, I realized there was a lot to do and many different places to visit.
The biggest thing I have learned in the Marine Corps is to always try and take advantage of all the things you are offered. Travel while you can and always have your mind open to learning new things.