The United States Marine Corps held a family night at the Glen Este High School Feb. 15.
Held for the families of those students enrolled in the Marine Corps delayed entry program, the family night is a way for the parents and the students to meet the recruiters, mingle, ask questions, and become involved in the future of the young men and women who have volunteered for military service.
“We want the family nights to be be casual, but ceremonial,” said Master Sergeant St. John. “We have the family night once a year for those students that we have recruited who are preparing to enter into boot camp at the end of their senior year.”
The 23 recruits who attended the family night, who are already training once a week with their recruiters, had the opportunity to hear a presentation from guest speaker Gary Denton, a Glen Este High School teacher whose son Brent is a Marine stationed in North Carolina, and had the chance, along with their parents, to ask questions.
New recruit David Cook, 17, is an Amelia High School student who enlisted in the Marine Corps last November.
"My family supports me in my decision," Cook said. "I enlisted to serve my country and to take advantage of the amazing opportunities available to me as a result of the Marine Corps. I do not expect it (boot camp) to be fun, but I do expect it to be rewarding."
Master Sergeant St. John, who has been a Marine for 22 years, said that nothing about military training is supposed to be easy.
"The main thing that these kids get from recruit training is discipline," he said. "In the Corps, they will learn better discipline and pride than anywhere else in the world. Through their training, they will become mentally and physically stronger. They will walk, talk, and stand taller."
Recruit David Cook said that he chose the Marine Corps because of its esteemed and glorified history.
"I want to experience the pride of being worthy enough to be called a Marine," he said. "The pride of serving my country with honor, the pride of wearing the uniform, and the pride that my friends and family will have for me."