More than 50 family members watched recruiters and Marine applicants conduct motivational exercises April 16 during the Recruiting Substation Bloomington Family Day.
"Our station has never hosted an event where the parents watched the mental and physical strain we put their kids through to prepare them for boot camp," said Marine recruiter Sgt. Daniel Zevnik, 27, from Milwaukee, Wis. "Everyone had a blast, so we're already looking forward to setting up another one."
Zevnik also said all of the exercises they completed were designed to enhance leadership skills and promote camaraderie among the Marine applicants and their guests.
"We never had anything like this when I enlisted," said Marine veteran Chris Hrabe, one of the parents attending the event who served from 1985 to 1991. "I only met with my recruiter once before I shipped out so I didn't know anything."
For several attendees, completing the rigorous workouts was a first.
"I never thought I'd do something like this," said Christian Arias, 17, from Minneapolis. "I might start coming to meetings just to learn more about the Marine Corps."
Hrabe, who enlisted out of the Burnsville, Minn., recruiting office, also said the training his son received will prepare him for boot camp more than any discussion or instructional video.
"Parents are an integral part of the process so it's vital we get them on board and address any of their concerns," Zevnik said. "We can train poolees as much as possible, but if there's negative reinforcement from home it'll be hard for them to leave."
For more photos of the event, visit www.facebook.com/rstwincities.