Becoming a marine, more often than not, is a family decision. So, while recruits are training at Parris Island, their family only gets a handful of letters and phone calls to tide them over until graduation week. But when it is time to meet again, how sweet it can be.
The Martens haven’t seen their daughter Melissa in 13 weeks, and her own mother can’t pick her out of a crowd.
Melissa is one of dozens of the nation’s newest marines.
As she and everyone else in her company, waits to be dismissed from boot camp, they think back to what got them to their long awaited graduation.
“We waited 13 weeks and I felt like I could hardly breathe those last 30 minutes and then just seeing her and hugging her was just amazing,” explained Maria Martens.
The Marten’s have been to a boot camp graduation before, in august, Melissa attended her younger brother’s Parris Island graduation.
“I want to make him proud and I think this will definitely make that happen,” explained Melissa Martens.
Melissa is a Fairport High School and St. John Fisher graduate.
“She was not happy and looking for a change but didn’t now what,” said Maria Martens
“I started working at Paychecks right out of college. It wasn’t the right fit for me. I really enjoyed the company but I knew I wanted to get out their and do something more hands on,” explained Melissa.
Among the tears and compliments Melissa’s parents knew something changed.
“She’s much more confident, the way she talks, the way she carries herself, when she’s just standing and talking,” described Melissa’s father, John Martens
“It was the best feeling when we got that eagle globe and anchor handed to us and it’s a feeling that I’m never going to forget,” said Melissa.