Five years after failing, recruit returns to become honor graduate
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  1. #1

    Cool Five years after failing, recruit returns to become honor graduate

    October 15, 2004
    Five years after failing, recruit returns to become honor graduate

    by Lance Cpl. Darhonda V. Hall
    Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island

    MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Years ago, Lance Cpl. Julie Price came to Parris Island for recruit training and was sent home because of her failure to qualify on the rifle range. Now, almost five years later, Price returned to Parris Island and graduated Oct. 1, as the honor graduate for Platoon 4030, Oscar Co., 4th RTBn.

    The recruit training schedule may have been a little different five years ago, but Price still needed to qualify on the rifle range to graduate. Unfortunately, Price missed being qualified marksman on the rifle range by one point.

    "I wore an eye patch on my left eye while I was shooting because I couldn't close it," she explained. "On qualification day, I wasn't allowed to wear the patch so my shooting conditions changed and I was not used to it."

    Price came through recruit training the first time with her fiancÚ, who graduated in April that year, and a week later she returned home, but unfortunately not as a Marine.

    "I remember watching my husband's platoon march back from the Crucible in the rain," said Price. "I could not tell which one was him, but knowing the fact that I could have been marching back from the Crucible, too, devastated me."

    Price received several opportunities to qualify on the rifle range, but she could not grasp the marksmanship training and was finally sent home.

    "When I did not qualify, I got sent home," she recalled. "That hurt a lot. I remember when I got discharged, my senior drill instructor asked me if I would be back and I said 'yes ma'am.'"

    Determined to become a Marine, Price set her mind on graduating recruit training aboard Parris Island.

    "Even when they handed me my discharge papers, I knew I would be back," said the Claremore, Okla., native.

    Price was home from recruit training for nearly five years. She married her fiancÚ and had two children. Finishing something she started was an incentive for Price to return to Parris Island and complete recruit training.

    "By the time my first child was six months, I was ready to go back through recruit training," Price said. "However, the whole process to get back in training took two years.

    I had to take the marksman training, get dependent waivers and a lot more. Some recruiters were not even considering my application, but I was determined and persistent."

    In her strive to become a Marine, Price managed to take three marksmanship classes that cost her almost $500 dollars. Each class lasted almost four hours long.

    "After I got out and took marksmanship classes, I began to understand the sight alignment and sight picture concepts better," she said.

    Making her only goal to become a United States Marine, Price's drive unexpectantly made her platoon guide. After the first guide was placed in Female Rehabilitation Platoon, Price said she began to take initiative, and then she earned the position.

    Now finished with recruit training and having earned honor graduate, the Marine only looks back at her failure as success.

    After waiting nearly five years to return to Parris Island, platoon guide was not an immediate goal for her or her recruiters.

    "I had no idea she would make honor graduate," said Gunnery Sgt. Robert Creps, Beaufort recruiter. "She tried so hard to come back to [recruit training], and her main focus was just to be a Marine."

    Her husband, who is now a sergeant, watched her graduation ceremony from the Parris Island Peatross Parade Deck bleachers, a place where Price wanted to be five years ago to watch her husband graduate.

    "I wasn't able to watch his graduation because I was focused on qualifying," Price said.

    As he and her two little girls rushed onto the parade deck after the graduating platoons were dismissed, Price waited anxiously to see their faces.

    "Being a Marine is worth going through training two times," she stated proudly. "I will always be able to look back and say that I earned the title 'Marine.'"

    Lance Cpl. Darhonda V. Hall
    Lance Cpl. Julie Price stands at attention with other honor graduates as they are congratulated on the Peatross Parade Deck Oct. 1. Price returned to Parris Island after being dropped from training five years ago.


  2. #2
    This is awesome that you went back for that tittle and stayed persistent I just turned 27 today and I want to become a Marine even if I'm someone's "grandma"

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