It sometimes takes the toughest, strongest and bravest people to make the commitment to protect and serve any country that he or she believe is worth fighting for, according to Marcus Pierre. As a member of the United States Marine Corps, the 19-year old marine makes it his duty to represent his country and his family well every day.
“It’s hard having to get up every morning when you’re use to sleeping in most of the days and getting off at decent hours,” said Pierre. “I have my days where I ready to throw the towel in because it is a lot.”
As a 19-year old African American, Pierre faced a lot of challenges growing up and still faces many challenges today. He graduated from L.W. Higgins High School, May 2016 and decided on joining the military months before graduation. Pierre started early training for the Marines at Belle Chase Naval Base before graduating high school. Today, he is in Oceanside, California which is more than 1,000 miles away from his hometown, Marrero, Louisiana. During his process before graduating high school, he influenced many of his friends to join the Marines with him.
“I was never a bad child growing up, just like everyone else, I sometimes hung around the wrong crowds,” said Pierre. “When I realized college wasn’t something I wanted to do right away and all the crimes that was going on in my city, I knew I had to get a plan together so I wouldn’t fall victim like most of the people I seen fall who had potential.”
After graduating high school in 2016, Pierre took his first plane ride alone to Pensacola, Florida for boot camp, where he quickly became leader of his platoon. During his boot camp process, Pierre family joined a Facebook page with all the Marine moms who kept each other uplifted while their kids were away for training.
“One of the moms mentioned how Marcus was so funny to her son and kept them all laughing,” said Sabrina Pierre, Pierre’s mom. “He has always been a person to motivate and keep people laughing and I am proud of him for making hard situations easier for people.”
Before Pierre had thoughts of joining the military his big brother was the first to join the Marines. Pierre’s family was against both sons joining the Marines. His mom, Sabrina, mentions how so much goes on in the world and she never knows what will happen next.
“With Donald Trump being president and arguing with Kim Jong Un puts the whole family in fear,” said Sabrina. “My oldest son is in Japan as we speak and he told us how he put our name down for our granddaughter to be sent to us if anything happens, they are still on stand by and that scares us for them to even be in that position.”
Pierre recently gotten a tattoo that mentions how he is his brother’s keeper. The only thing Pierre seems to worry about is his family.
“When I first left to go away for the marines, my sister cried so much, everyday according to my family she even moved into my room and sleeps there,” said Pierre. “I am brave, I just want my family to know if anything, I am fighting to protect them.”
Pierre’s motivation and courage influenced many of his friends to join the Marines and change their lives. One of his best friends, Glenn Faulkner, was sent off to boot camp a month after Pierre.
“I was in a bad spot in life and didn’t know what direction to go in to be honest no one has ever influence me to do something positive,” Said Faulkner. “When I found out that we weren’t going to be able to be sent away together I got scared.”
Faulkner mentions how hard of a time he had during boot camp. Many of the times he wrote and worried his mother about giving up because he couldn’t take it.
“I thought about giving up so many times, but I ended up meeting Marcus on the base on a Sunday at church,” said Faulkner. “Even though he was leaving the base a week later, he motivated me that one time to keep pushing and I finally made it.”
Since boot camp training ended, Pierre has been stationed in Oceanside, California. He received his orders two months ago that he will be staying in California for 4 or more years.
“I miss my family a lot, it is hard seeing them all together on social media when I’m out here alone for holidays,” said Pierre. “I barely get to go home and when I was in Florida they would drive down there to see me but now I’m too far for a drive.”
Pierre mentioned he knew college was not something he was interested in when he was on his way out of high school. By his older brother joining the marines first just gave him the push that he needed to take the next step.
“I knew I didn’t want to go to college right away, I felt like I needed a break from school,” said Pierre. “Seeing my brother join the military first gave me the idea of joining and I have been working hard and getting promotions since then.”
Pierre recently purchased his first car on his own. He mentions how he does not post much of his achievements on social media but this one he wanted to post.
“I was so excited to buy own car at the age of 19,” said Pierre. “I bought a Jaguar as my first car, and when I posted it on social media I gave a very motivating caption for my friends who are still stuck in the same place.”
Pierre’s mom mentioned how she seen two of his friends on the news for armed robbery recently. It breaks her heart to see them so young going down that road especially knowing that her son grew up with them.
“I am sad he is so far away but I honestly think him joining the military was the best decision he could have made,” said Sabrina. “His friends and cousins look up to him.”
Taking that big step for the better can be scary but there is something greater waiting for everyone at the end, according to Pierre. Making family members proud and being appreciated every day for your courage is an amazing feeling.