Semper Fi

Class of 2019 Marines: Jesus Jimenez, Sahish Shretha. and Dakota Colvin.

Class of 2019 Marines: Jesus Jimenez, Sahish Shretha. and Dakota Colvin.

Penelope Rivera, Enterprise Reporter

Semper Fi is the motto for The U.S. Marine Corps, Latin for “always loyal” or “always faithful.” The U.S. Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces; responsible for serving on U.S. Navy ships, protecting naval bases, guarding U.S. embassies, and being the first strike force ready to protect the country’s interests anywhere around the world. They are the smallest military service, with only 38,000 new recruits per year, and only approximately 2% of all living Americans to have served in the Marines.

Within Paschal High School’s graduating class of 2019, 5 men decided to take on this challenge of joining the U.S. Marine Corps. Jesus Jimenez and Sahish Shrestha, two of Paschal alumni, explain what it means to be a Marine, and what their summer experience was like.

What made them want to join the military?

“Joining the Marines has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Jesus said. “I wanted to start my life and my career early; joining was a way to establish myself as a human.”

“College was boring,” Sahish started. “There’s more to seek out in life [than college], adventure is what it’s all about.”

This past June, Jesus and Sahish were sent to boot camp for 13 weeks in San Diego, CA, where they underwent training for the Corps. The main goal for this training was to learn military skills, knowledge, discipline, pride, and self-confidence.

Jesus described boot camp as “mentally tough, challenging, and worth it.” He explained that you may think you are physically ready for camp, but your mental strength may not be prepared. “[The sergeants] will get into your skin, try to find your weakness [to] build you to be better than before. [But] if you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not improving. It’s an experience only 2% of the U.S. population will get. [It is a] big step from where you were before; you will value life more.”

Sahish described the experience as one full of “commitment, determination, and life-changing.” “You’re opened up to a lot more, you have to watch what you do and say; you’re more restricted. [You also] see who’s really there for you, and see the level of maturity you have to conform to.” He also explained you don’t come out with the same number of people that came in. “You see lots of people quit; there was no determination, no commitment. [It] motivated me more to remember why I was there.”

The inevitable fact is that not everyone can make it through boot camp. About 11-14% of recruits drop out before completing the training. Jesus and Sahish both agreed this was the hardest part of their summer: not giving up.

“Not giving up was definitely the toughest part,” Jesus began. “[You have to] realize what you’re there for, you can’t give up on yourself. I would tell myself ‘this day was challenging, but I can make it through another day.’”

Sahish stated, “Not quitting was really hard. But, seeing others give up [reminded me] ‘I can’t be like them, I’ve made it this far’. But there was always the brotherhood; when teamwork was needed, [we were] always there for each other.”

Boot camp is a large part of the process, and it definitely changes a person.

“[I’m] more mature, confident in what I want; I’m taken more seriously,” Sahish stated.

Jesus explained “[I] value family way more, I’ve learned there is a lot you can do to become better; it’s all in your control.”

But what does it truly mean to be a Marine?

“[Being a Marine] means having honor and respect,” Jesus expressed. “It means staying committed, and following the traditions of the Marines.”

“We’re just at the starting point,” Sahish added. “There’s so much history before me and Jesus. It’s our job to keep that going…”

Both concluded with a message for those considering following the same path:

Sahish: “As long as you don’t quit, you’ll make it.”

Jesus: “Know what you’re there for. If you’re committed to actually doing it, don’t give up on yourself. Remember why you’re there. All the pain [and] long nights is all worth it at the graduation.”