While Marc was in the Corps, he had to write a personal statement for something he was being considered for. I just thought I would share his thoughts with you. The following is what he wrote:
PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR MARC E. LABRECQUE
I grew up listening to my father tell me story after story about the Marine Corps. About how much he loved it. About how it was such a special experience for him and how he has never made friends like the ones he made when he was in the Corps. He told me stories of far off lands and exotic countries. He told me about how this Band of Brothers lived together, slept together, ate together and were prepared to die together. I knew back then that I had to be a part of that. I had to be part of something that would make me feel like there was nothing on this Earth that I could not do or accomplish if I was to be a United States Marine.
So on the twenty-fourth day of July in the year of our lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Seven, I walked into the recruiter's office and told him that I wanted to be one of the few and the proud. A few short days later I was on my way up to Springfield, Massachusetts to sign on the dotted line. I was to leave on March 22nd, 1998 to Parris Island, South Carolina; Home of Marine Corps Recruit Training. The land that God forgot. I was about to embark on a three month adventure filled with screaming, running, push-ups, pull-ups and hours upon hours of classes revolved around various Marine Corps related subjects. I was prepared for this to be the absolute worst experience of my life.
Upon arrival on the island, completely surrounded by swamps and marsh, I was greeted by a man in what they call a campaign cover (a trade mark of Marine Corps Drill Instructors). From the second he stepped foot on the bus it started. We were rushed off the bus, turned in all of our personal belongings, and brought to the barber shop to get our heads shaved. After a few days of no sleep, little food and a lot of yelling, we were introduced to the men who would be in charge of molding and shaping us into what is known today as the world's finest fighting force, the President's 911 force, The United States Marines.
We lived in what is called a squad bay, which is basically a large room with about fifty bunk beds all covered and aligned. We were woken up each morning at the crack of dawn with a Drill Instructor in your face telling which article of clothing to put on first. We were unorganized, slow, and (something else). We did not know the meaning of the term teamwork but we would soon learn. We had no choice in the matter. Without teamwork we would never have been able to make it through those three long and treacherous months.
As boot camp came to a close we were all surprised as to how much we had all grown, both as men and as Marines. We went there as immature, undisciplined and unorganized kids. Three months later, we came out US Marines. I went there thinking it was going to be the most difficult thing I ever had to do in my life. I couldn't have been more wrong. Looking back on it now, I loved it. Never before in my life did I learn such a great deal in such a short amount of time and was able to utilize it in my everyday life.
On June 19th, 1998, my father returned to Parris Island, South Carolina to see his son graduate from boot camp. The place had changed much in the forty years that had pasted since he first stepped foot on the island. Old buildings were gone and new ones stood in their place.
It still managed to bring back many memories for him. He walked around like a child in a candy store. After the graduation ceremony was completed, my father walked up to me, with a hint of a tear in his eye and said to me, "Semper Fidelis Marine, welcome to The Brotherhood."
This was without a doubt, hands down, no question about it, the proudest day of my life.
Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni, Per Mare, Per Terram
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