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thedrifter
06-21-03, 08:13 AM
Turning over new leaf helps Marine find new Corps life
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification Number: 2003620141916
Story by Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.



MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(June 20, 2003) -- "Get off my bus! Move with speed and intensity!"

These are notorious phrases that ring in the ears of new recruits who arrive at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, giving many of them a taste of hardship and stress for the first time.

When PFC Russ W. Meyer, Platoon 1081, Company B, got off the bus and stepped onto the yellow footprints here, he immediately felt the difference in atmosphere compared to his hometown of Oakridge, Mo., where the population is 202.

Following this initial shock, the small-town Marine relied on the support of his family and training from his drill instructors to help him complete recruit training. Their support led to Meyer earning the title of most-improved recruit for Platoon 1081.


Most recruits can recall a specific point in recruit training that was the hardest to overcome. According to Meyer, every day was a difficult challenge.

"It's such a change," he said. "It's not a regular job and the stress level is harder than some might think. The yelling, screaming, and intensity of boot camp is so hard in the beginning."

Being separated from his family made training exceedingly difficult for Meyer.

"I've never been on my own or away from home for so long," he said.

Struggling to fit into training, Meyer didn't feel he could take it any longer, so he tried to get out of training.

According to his drill instructors, he was so scared he was willing to fake illness in an attempt to get out of recruit training.

But Meyer's senior drill instructor wouldn't give up on him. He did what he had to in order to boost Meyer's morale.

"He wasn't paying attention in the beginning, but a phone call home helped him focus," said Staff Sgt. Ngiraterang T. Sakuma, senior drill instructor, Platoon 1081, Company B. "That call turned him around. After that, he gave 100 percent all the time."

Meyer said his family is what changed his mind because they always help him out when he needs them.

"Stay with it," said Beverly J. Meyer to her son during his phone call home.

According to Meyer, it was his desire to not let his family down that inspired him. He was looking for a change in his life and got it in the Marine Corps.

"I needed to change and learn to be a man," he said. "The Marines helped me become that man."

Recruit training has transformed Meyer into a man and a Marine, and the strong family ties that have driven him thus far continue to drive him into the future.

"I want to make my father proud," he said. "I've let him down in the past, but I'm determined to never let that happen again."

So far, Meyer is succeeding in his goal, according to his father, Terry W. Meyer.

"I am proud to see he had the determination to see this through," said Terry.

When Meyer was allowed to call home in the early stages of recruit training, he confirmed his family was backing him fully, but it was the backing of his senior drill instructor that changed his future and equipped him with the motivation necessary to earn the title, Marine.

"The day after that phone call home, he (Sakuma) pointed at a leaf on the ground and told me to turn it over," said Meyer. "He said 'do you understand what I'm trying to say?'"

Meyer responded with a loud and motivating "Yes, sir!" Today he graduates, after turning over that "new leaf" and new life, in the Marine Corps.


http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2003620163831/$file/PFC_R_Meyer02_lr.jpg

PFC Russ W. Meyer, Platoon 1081, Company B, is the most improved recruit of his platoon. Meyer is cleaning his rifle in preparation of the battalion commander's inspection held during the last week of training.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.


The Drifter
:marine:

jenrmurray
06-21-03, 04:03 PM
awesome :)