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Chapter 41: 15th Anniversary of stepping on those horrid yellow footprints

On November 18, 1996, I began a journey of a lifetime: the journey of becoming a United States Marine.Just two days shy of my 19th birthday, I boarded a bus with a group of other ladies who were on the same journey as myself. Once we passed through the front gate of Parris Island, South Carolina, any doubt that I had in my mind had escaped. I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer, took a deep breath, and soaked in my last few moments of freedom. Once the bus stopped, fear set in. Not knowing what was around the corner was a mystery that I was about to be revealed to me.This was my first time away from home; I had no family, no friends, no acquaintances and no place to call home, except an old squad bay where I slept on an old, metal rack with stains all over the mattress.My fear started to go away once I realized that there were about 60 other ladies who most likely felt the same way I did. November 18 was the day that I found my new family – the roots of my Marine Corps family. These l…

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