My mom had just finished high school at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute. She was working at West Lynn Creamery, which is now Garelick Farms. My mom did not do well in school. She was ready for a change in her life. My mom wanted to become a police officer at the time and decided to enlist in the Marines.
My Mom was in the Marines from 1990 to 1994. She served during Operation Desert Storm, commonly known as the Gulf War. She was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Guam, and Mt. Fuji. She did not participate in direct combat.
As soon as my mom departed for training camp, she was extremely nervous. She left early for the airport with a friend that she enlisted with. At first, she arrived at Parris Island to start her training. My mom said that she adapted well to the physical aspect of the military. However, she did not enjoy the food and the living quarters: “The food in boot camp was very bland. The living quarters (Barracks) as a Marine weren’t the best either. I definitely have to say that the Air Force had the best living conditions.”
My mom described some of her greatest memories of being stationed in different countries: “Being in the ocean was a great experience. The oceans and beaches were beautiful. Also, the technology in Japan was amazing.”
Over time, my mom was able to work her way up to a Corporal, the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Marine Corps. When she got out of the Marines, she had to make a significant adjustment to civilian life. She was disgusted at how rude and unaware the civilian life was in everyday situations. She noted that people do not always appreciate the freedom they have received from veterans. In addition, my mom did not become a police officer like she originally planned. She was able to attend Northern Essex Community College and become an X-Ray Technician.
My mom learned some valuable lessons from being a Marine. She learned how one needs to manage his or her priorities and be on time. Also, she can not emphasize enough at how one should do the best he or she can at a specific task while overcoming difficult situations.
In addition to learning valuable life lessons, my mom has a strong message for future generations about going in the service: “Being a veteran is not just a label. It means that the person has probably gone through a lot of emotional and psychological stress.” In other words, being a veteran is not as easy as it sounds. One must consider if he or she is the right person to serve.
Overall, I have tons of respect and gratitude for my mom. She was able to overcome a difficult past and serve as a Marine. Her mental toughness and determination have allowed her to become the person she is today.