As Pvt. Alfonso A. Medinaarellano, Platoon 3223, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, made his way through each event of the Crucible, he knew he was one step closer to becoming a part of the Marine Corps' brotherhood.
Twenty-two-year-old Medinaarellano, a Guerro, Mexico, native, joined the Marine Corps to follow his dreams and help provide for his family.
Private Alfonso A. Medina-Arellano, Platoon 3223, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, low crawls during the Bayonet Assault Course as part of the Crucible at Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA on Sept. 11, 2014. Over the past three months, recruits learned different bayonet techniques during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jericho Crutcher)
When Medinaarellano was four years old, he moved to the United States with his single mother and two-year-old brother. He and his family lived in Chicago for just over a year before moving to California, where they lived for 15 years before moving to Colorado in 2009.
Medinaarellano finished high school in Colorado, and went on to college for criminal justice studies. Although his dream was to be the first in his family to graduate college, he felt it was his responsibility to help take care of his family, which had grown by two sisters.
“Dropping out of school was extremely difficult for me and my brother. It was our dream to graduate,” said Medinaarellano. “We needed to take care of our mom and two sisters, so it was necessary.”
Growing up, Medinaarellano worked several jobs including fast food resturants, construction and in the oil fields.
He explained working in the oil fields is a physical demanding job that requires you to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
He and his younger brother stepped up to be the men of the household and helped provide for the family.
“Growing up without a dad was difficult,” said Medinaarellano. “There was no one to teach me a man's role in a family.”
Medinaarellano decided to join the Marine Corps after working in the oil fields with his brother to better support his family, as well as start a career for himself.
“I wanted to prove to my family and friends that you should never give up on your dreams,” said Medinaarellano. “As long as you keep pushing, you can accomplish anything in life you want.”
He explains he still plans to give his family his full support, because it's family that will always be there for you.
“The only thing that keeps me motivated and striving for the best is my family,”
Prior to being released for family day, he was naturalized as a United States citizen during a ceremony at the depot, Sept. 18.
Medinaarellano is scheduled to graduate recruit training on Sept. 19, and then will attend Marine Combat Training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Upon completion of MCT, he will continue his schooling for his military occupational specialty and plans to take college classes for criminal justice to become a police officer.
By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jericho Crutcher
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
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