A group of Beaufort youngsters are learning what it takes to become a Marine. They're training on Parris Island all week, and the commanding officer of the Beaufort Young Marines says about 90 percent of her unit plan on becoming one of the few and the proud. But in any case, she says they're learning discipline.
"I wanted to get introduced to some Marine Corps training, and I wasn't doing too good in school so my mom said I needed some discipline," recalled 17-year-old Christopher Seco. That's why he joined the Beaufort Young Marines, a program that's given him the discipline and leadership he needs to become one of the few and the proud.
"It helps me a lot physically, mentally, and emotionally and when it's time to go into the Corps, I'll know what to expect," said Chrisopher.
And his story isn't an unusual one in this group. "I used to be bad and I didn't get good grades," said Jimmy Fernandez. "Now I get A's and B's and I've been on the honor roll twice."
The Young Marines program isn't just about climbing ropes or training future Marines, it's about building confidence and instilling discipline to help make them successful in life.
"There's a price for freedom and we believe if we teach kids at a young age to respect our country, then we'll have a better community," said Sgt. Maj. Gwen Moore (ret.), commander of the Young Marines.
As part of the program, each of these young Marines had to go through 12 weekends of boot camp, learning Marine Corps history, military customs, physical training and much more. Now, they're testing their skills in the field, as they survive a week of training on Parris Island.
It's a week most enjoy.
The Young Marines are between the ages of 8 and 17. During their week on Parris Island, they'll be sleeping in the barracks, eating at the chow halls, and even going through the crucible.