ROCHESTER, Minn -- Rose Wilson is a member of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Delayed Entry Program. She enlisted in the Marines 3 March, 2010. She was recruited out of Recruiting Sub- Station Rochester, Recruiting Station Twin Cities, Minn. She was given a writing assignment for her Journalism/ Newspaper class and wrote about her experience of a pool function she attended prior to enlisting in the Corps.
After high school there are many different paths you can take, and so many questions you have to ask and answer. Other than college, there is the option of the military. I’m going to tell you a little bit about the U. S. Marines. This is my path after graduating. It will be a long haul but talking to recruiters and people I know who have been in the Marines, it seems to fit me. It’ll be great to be a part of something that’s been around for over 200 years. Now that's something big! I personally want to belong to something, and the bigger the better. I feel if I am going to do something and give it my all, then the U.S. Marines is it for me.
This is a time when new high school graduates can and must reach for the stars. You have to be determined and willing to take orders, and I am ready for this. My parents are scared and worried about this decision of mine, but all parents would be. After all, there is a war going on. These are dangerous times and the Marines are the first out. I am the first in my family to join the service since the Vietnam War.
Every second Saturday of the month, our local recruiting station, located in Barlow’s Plaza, has pool functions where recruits meet and work on getting prepared for recruit training together. At my first pool function, I learned all of the basics, which are still not simple. It was a little awkward at first because I was one of two women out of a group of 20 or so. I really felt welcomed. Everyone was really encouraging. Especially when I felt like I just wanted to be done. I will tell you now from personal experience, it wasn’t easy, but in the end it’s worth it. You feel proud in becoming one of the few. The pool functions consist of a mile run, pull-up bar, and a lot of other fun, hardcore drills. The women and men are treated the same, except women perform a flexed-arm hang from the bar and men do pull-ups. The part I enjoyed the most, which some may say would be crazy, was the fireman carry. I dragged the other female about a half a block and then carried her fireman style for about a block or so. We had to weave through cones and do arm and bear crawls. I was grunting but there was no time for complainers! My arms felt like Jell-O, my legs ached, my back and shoulders were screaming, and I was hungry. Through it all, the guys were right there beside me coaching me on. We did everything as a team. I really felt like they were my brothers already. By the end of the day I was exhausted, but I felt amazing and accomplished!
After the physical training we all grouped together into a marching formation where I learned you always lead with your left foot rather than your right. Of course I goofed up right away, but one of my brother recruits whispered a correction. I think I got away without being noticed by the instructor. My recruiter, Staff Sgt. Shawn T. Horne, who can sometimes be seen at Century High School during lunch time, was really impressed with me. I still have to work on my one mile run time, but there is always room for improvement.
Once the pool function was over, we returned to the recruiting station where I made some new friends. I can't wait until the next pool function. If anyone is up for a challenge you can contact the Marine Recruiting Station, come as a guest, and see what it's like.
My mom came to pick me up while my dad was waiting at home. He was thinking that after this I would change my mind, thinking there’s no way this is what I want to do. Instead I was happy. I felt stronger as a person and realized it's a lot of mind-over-matter. Tell yourself to keep going and you won't notice the pain. I told my mom, if pain is weakness leaving the body (something they told us earlier in the morning), I'm losing a lot of weakness! We laughed. Remember it's a challenge. But if you are determined, this is a great fit. It really makes you feel good about yourself. I was ready then and there to sign up, but I want to have my parents’ blessing before I sign up. Dad is coming around. Sure it will be hard leaving my family, friends and pets, but I know I will be a part of something bigger than anything I have ever done before.