Last week we showed you this group of Marines training for war. This week, we'll introduce you to some of those trainees. Each Marine has a different story and each has a unique reason to serve. But all Marines share one thing - that they are Marines and they hold that distinction above all others.
Semper Fidelis, or Semper Fi, became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. Semper Fi is Latin for "Always Faithful" and to the Marine Corps it's more than just a motto - it's a way of life.
Marines are trained to stay faithful to corps and country, no matter what. But Marines are still people with lives outside the military. When training on weekends and deployments overseas end, these Marines have jobs and lives to live.
"What you learn out here isn't something you would learn out there in everyday situations so, I love it," said Cpl. Sheena Reina.
Four months ago, Cpl. Reina experienced a life changing event. "I gave birth to a seven pound son four months ago, on June 16th," she explained.
Despite being a new mom, Semper Fi still runs strong in Cpl Reina. She'll be deploying to the Middle East for a second time next year.
"That's got to be an interesting decision for you," I said. "Yes. Mainly because this is something I made a long time ago. I enlisted right after high school. This is a commitment that I made and I plan on keeping it," Reina replied.
With each Marine comes a unique story. "I've been in the Marines since February the 7th, 1988," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Bennett.
Twenty years as a marine. Twenty years serving his country. And during those 20 years, Staff Sgt. Bennett has had a career, a very successful career in several industries, which has afforded him the chance to live a very comfortable life.
"What does it mean to you to be a Marine that keeps you coming back to this?" I asked. "A sense of pride, a sense of belonging, a sense of service to my country," he replied.
Bennett has no real need to work after the sale of some businesses, but he still chooses to serve. His "easy life" involves weekends with the Marines and tours of duty. "Somebody who's not been a Marine can't understand why you would keep coming back. Why you come out in February weather and you come out to the field and you enjoy frozen food, but you do those things and you enjoy it because you get to work with the people you get to work with and do the things you get to do," Bennett said.
Bennett's reason for his continued commitment to the values behind Semper Fi is the values that have kept that motto strong for the last 125 years. "There's a lot of enjoyment in the things we do here. But the most fun that I have is working with the fine young marines that we have here. Training them, giving them knowledge and experience and that's one of the things that's the most important I have to give," Bennett said.
The average age of a marine is 23, nine years younger than any other branch. So Staff Sgt Bennett works with many young marines. Two of them are Cpl. Heath Morris LCpl. Michael Morris, and they are brothers.
"What do your parents say that you're both in the Marines?" I asked. "Little positive, little negative. They're worried about us going overseas but at the same time, they're prideful," they said.
Though the two don't work together directly, Cpl. Morris is LCpl. Morris' superior officer, and they both agree, having each other there makes live as a Marine easier.
The stories are endless. Marines helping marines and always living up to the virtues of Semper Fi.
What It Takes To Be A Marine Training For War
The Marines - a military tradition now 233 years in the making. The men and women of the United States Marine Corps take time out of their lives to serve on battlefields across the globe and during training exercises stateside. NewsChannel 11's Justin Michaels has more on this unique group of Americans.