Recruit Returns Favor To Corps For Saving Father's Life
(August 11, 2010)
|MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO (MCN - 8/6/2010) —
Those who enlist in the Marine Corps have many reasons for
joining. These reasons can range from family tradition to a
strong desire to serve one's country, however very few have
likely joined the Corps because a group of Marines saved
their fathers' lives.|
Pfc. Weldu Aregawi Gebrimichael, Platoon 3275,
Company M, 3rd Battalion was inspired to join the
Corps after hearing how a Marine sniper team saved
his father's life.
Weldu Aregawi Gebrimichael, the father of Pfc.
Gebrimichael, was an activist against the communist
government in Ethiopia and known to have valuable
information that could be used to fight them, said
The communist government had gained a foothold in
Ethiopia in the early 1980s due to a series of
famines that hit Ethiopia due to draughts. The
famines affected 8 million people and left 1 million
Pfc. Wendu Gebremichael, foreground, Platoon 3275, Co. M, listens to directions before providing part of a perimeter around the Sky Scraper obstacle on the Confidence Course.
His father fled to Sudan with other activists but
was captured by the Ethiopian government. Later, he
was rescued by Marines who were conducting
operations in Sudan at the time said Gebrimichael.
He said his father returned to Ethiopia in 1988, and shortly
afterward Gebrimichael was born and given his father's full
name, which is an Ethiopian custom. |
A short while later, his father moved to the U.S. for his
safety. Gebrimichael grew up in Ethiopia with his mother,
never having known his father nor heard the story of the
Marines who had save his father's life.
It wasn't until five years ago, at the age of 17, that
Gebrimichael was able to come to the U.S., sent for by the
father he had never met. It was then he learned that his
father's life was saved by Marines.
“I knew I wanted to join the Marine Corps as soon as I heard
the story about Marines saving my father's life,” said
However, despite his desire to enlist he chose to attend the
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to learn to speak English
properly before enlisting.
“I will finish college while I am in the Marine Corps but I
stopped for now so I could enlist,” said Gebrimichael.
“He shone among his pears because he had a better attitude
and was very enthusiastic and motivated,” said Staff Sgt.
Zachary Taylor, drill instructor, Platoon 3275, Co. M, 3rd
Gebrimichael has now proven he is worthy to join the same
forces the men who saved his father had chosen, he said
“He refused to quit even when it got hard on him,” said
Taylor. “He did more than exceptionally well on the tests.”
Gebrimichael has earned a Sharp Shooter badge on the rifle
range and has a first class PFT. He finished the 54-hour
Crucible, the final task to complete before earning the
title of Marine, with his fellow recruits, culminating in a
nine-mile hike called the Reaper, on July 29, and then
received his eagle, globe and anchor emblem, the symbol of
the Marine Corps.
“On the Crucible he worked hard,” said Taylor. “ I think he
put out max effort. It was exhausting and he never lagged
behind. At the Emblem Ceremony he really had earned it.”
Article and photo by Pfc. Emily Cone
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
Marine Corps News
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