Marines: Preparing to Serve Part 5

Duluth Native Finds Path in Life through Marine Corps

Graduation from the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego is a time of celebration and many emotions.

“It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world,” said Pvt. Jeremy O’Bryan of Finlayson, Minnesota.

Through ups and downs recruits become one of the few and the proud.

“It’s unlike any other feeling before,” said Pvt. Travis Koch, former UMD student.

At the ceremony the new Marines show their families how they’ve changed and the new person they’ve become.

To their recruiters they’ve only gotten better.

“From the first time I meet them to the transformation it’s a completely different person,” explained GySgt. John Treslley from Recruiting Station Twin Cities.

Marching proudly it’s proof they’re deserving of the title.

“We have high standards and because of those standards we expect a lot of ourselves and of each other and we uphold our nation’s highest traditions,” said Maj. Chris Tsirlis, Commanding Officer of Recruiting Station Twin Cities.

Duluth native and 2010 Duluth East grad Cpl. Mary Dwyer went through graduation four years ago and has been proudly serving her country ever since.

“It fills me with a sense of accomplishment and it also fills me with just this pride of belonging,” explained Cpl. Dwyer.

Cpl. Dwyer is an example of where a career in the Marine Corps can take you.

“I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life. I had finished high school but didn’t really have money for college,” Cpl. Dwyer said.

Joining the Marines, she found a sense of purpose.

“I believe I’m a lot more confident, I’m way more outgoing, the Marine Corps trained me how to be professional and work with everybody,” Cpl. Dwyer said.

Serving for several years, including 11 months in Afghanistan, she’s gained valuable experience and it’s something she’ll always bring with her.

“I’ve given a lot to the Marine Corps, but the Marine Corps has given a lot back to me,” Cpl. Dwyer said.

Not only has Cpl. Dwyer gained education benefits, but she tells us she’s also had time to find her path in life and a chance to accomplish goals, “One of my life goals is to go to all 50 states and right now I only have eight left including Alaska and Hawaii.”

Cpl. Dwyer says traveling the world still isn’t the same as being in the Northland, “I miss the snow and the fall and the smell of rain. Believe it or not, the rain smells different out here when it does rain.”

So ,when her enlistment is complete she’s coming home.

“I miss the people of Minnesota. The people out here in California are great and nice, but it’s nothing like that home Minnesota nice,” Cpl. Dwyer explained.

She’ll be attending the University of Minnesota Twin Cities studying in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

“I’m super excited to be going back to Minnesota and to be going back to being in the woods,” Cpl. Dwyer said.

Like thousands of others, her experience started at one of two Marine boot camps in the country.

With the hard work and pride these Marines have gained they’re forever a piece of American history.

“There’s over 300 million Americans and there’s less than one percent that actually serve our nation and there’s one tenth of one percent that serve as United States Marines. So, when we say we’re the few and the proud we absolutely are.” Maj. Tsirlis said.  

If you’re interested in learning more about joining the United States Marine Corps contact your local recruiter.

You can find more information about the Marines on their website.

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