Melvin’s summer with the Marines

In what was advertised as a free trip, a select few, including English Teacher Vanessa Melvin,  were chosen for a week long insider experience with the U.S. Marines, in bases all across the country.

The Marine Corp came out, and asked several of us if any of us wanted to go for a free vacation,”

— English teacher Vanessa Melvin

“The Marine Corp came out, and asked several of us if any of us wanted to go for a free vacation,” Melvin said. “They told us that it would be a week, we would get to see a bunch of sites, bases, hang out with marines, and all of that, and it sounded like a good idea so I decided that I wanted to go.”

The experience gave Melvin and other attendees the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the everyday life of military members at a few different locations many Marines frequent. 

“The first base we went to was MCRD, the Marine Corp Recruiting Depot, that’s where all male recruits end up if they are entering the United States Marine Corp,” Melvin said. “We were there for the first couple of days, and the third day we went to Miramar, which is the flight line where we got to see the black hawk helicopter, fighter jets. “They wouldn’t let us see the new F-35, but Miramar was where Top Gun was held, so fun fact there. On the last day we were at Edson range, where we got to shoot M4s and we also got to see all the Marines finish their Crucible as well.”

While Melvin’s experience was unique and eye opening, very few people get to experience the actual work and lifestyle of an active marine. Sergeant Jason Charles went through the full process first hand, and has a deeper appreciation of the value of being in the Marine Corps. 

“First of all, you get the title of a Marine, and not a lot of people in the world have that title,” Charles said. “Not a lot of people take that challenge to become a Marine you know, there are many branches, but the title Marine will stay with you forever.”

Melvin may not be a Marine for life, but she gained perspective on what it really take to be in the military. 

The title Marine, will stay with you forever,”

— Sergeant Jason Charles

“I learned that it takes someone who is very unique and very strong mentally to become a military service member, not just a Marine, but it could be someone in the Navy, the Army, or the Air Force,” Melvin said. “I came out of it with a deeper appreciation for our military overall.”

These men and women risk their lives to serve this country, and have garnered an even deeper respect from Melvin after her visit to the bases. 

“To know that they are also out there serving, most likely on the front lines to defend our freedom here in this country, it also brings back that sense of pride,” Melvin said. “At the very end we are blessed to see a graduation and we hung out with them throughout the day.”