The Marine Corps League encouraged the Matanzas Marines who are heading off to basic training.
Pull quote: “We have some quality young men going into what we deem the most quality outfit in the world.”
ANTHONY MARTINEZ, Marine Corps League Detachment No. 876 Commandant
After reading about four Matanzas wrestlers—all district champions—who raised their right hands to join the United States Marine Corps after high school, Marine Corps League Detachment No. 876 member Joe Sousa connected with other members, in hopes of honoring and acknowledging those students for their bravery to defend the country.
Before its monthly meeting, held on Tuesday, May 17, at the VFW, the league commandant Anthony Martinez held a short ceremony, surrounded by hundreds of years of sacrifice, heroism and courage, represented in red shirts and hats, who eyed six young men—Maverick Dennis, Rocky Samples, Tristan Kraus, Carter Goodman, along with newcomers Drake Goodman and Joshua Manoi—who are headed to basic training to become soldiers.
“We thought it was unique that such a small group in a local high school had four guys who shared comradery in their event (wrestling) and were doing very good,” Martinez said. “When we saw the article, we thought, ‘Wow! This may be a good time to show appreciation for the youth in our area who already have pride and are trying to protect freedom and the American way of life.'”
In the last few months, Drake Goodman, a 2014 Matanzas grad and Carter’s older brother, decided to sign up, and Flagler Palm Coast 2015 grad Manoi also thought it wise to defend the country and serve a purpose bigger than himself.
“There are people who can’t defend and some who don’t want to defend the country,” Goodman said, “so someone has to step up and do something about it. And, I love this country, and I want to make my parents proud.”
“I want the discipline of a Marine,” Manoi added. “I want to be made into a man, and I just want everything that comes with being a Marine. I want that challenge.”
All six hope to undergo basic training within the next few months, and they will endure 13 weeks of Marine boot camp they must complete before becoming official Marines.
“We have some quality young men going into what we deem the most quality outfit in the world,” Martinez said. “And, in the long run, maybe bring back some new Marines.”
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