VICTORIA, Australia -- People from across the United States face challenges that influence and define who they will become in the future, and for some their destiny is controlled by their past. For Sgt. Jacques Yves Duroseau however, he persevered and reached his goal of becoming a Marine despite his challenges.
Duroseau, a Haiti native, had been inspired to become a Marine at a young age.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jacques Yves Duroseau grades a competitor's score after the barricade match at Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria, Australia, May 11, 2016. Duroseau competed with the Marine Corps Shooting Team in the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2016, a multinational event that evaluated military marksmen's skill with firearms against their peers. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Terry Brady)
“When I was a kid, I saw the marines back home [because] we had a little war going on, that was the first time I saw them and I hope to be one of them,” said Duroseau. “Since that day I had it in the back of my head where I wanted to be a U.S. Marine.
“My mother was never up for it. She [would say] ‘no I don't want you to join. Next thing they'll be sending you to war you're the only son I have I just don't want to lose you.'”
After finishing high school in Brooklyn, New York in 2006, he returned home to go to college, but tragedy would drastically alter the course of his future. On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a severe earthquake, causing thousands of people to lose their homes and thousands more lost their lives.
“It's not something I like to talk about,” said Duroseau. “I was at my house and it happened at about 5:00. I think it lasted two to three minutes, which is a long time.”
Duroseau was stuck inside of his own house for four days, pinned between two walls.
“Back home, it's a third world country so it took them a long time to come and get me,” said Duroseau. “They could hear me but it took them a long time to break in and actually pull me out. The stress of being alive and knowing you might die is a lot.”
After being rescued, Duroseau realized the magnitude of the devastation on his home.
“It took me a while to find [my parents] because it was impossible to drive so you had to walk wherever you were going,” said Duroseau. “There's a lot of stuff you wished you didn't have to see. There were many dead and the smell was the worst. It was very sad to watch and experience.”
Duroseau had to stay in the country for three months before making his way back to the U.S.
“As soon as I flew back I spoke to a [Marine Corps] recruiter,” said Duroseau. “When I left home I had this in my head that I just wanted to join finally.”
According to Duroseau, past life experiences have molded the way he acts everyday.
“I have learned to be humble in life because you live everyday but you don't know when you might be gone,” said Duroseau. “It comes with experience and age. The way I was at 21 is not the same I am now.
“Life is very funny [because] if you don't learn from it you will fall and you will bust your head. That's where you learn to become humble and you become mature and become the man that you were supposed to be.”
Duroseau is currently stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, where he serves as a marksmanship instructor on the firing ranges there. Having humility when taking care of the Marines he is instructing is important, according to Duroseau.
“Its good to let them know that you care about them and let them know they need to pay attention because being a rifleman is what we are all about,” said Duroseau. “Every Marine is supposed to be a rifleman but that isn't always the case, and it falls on us.
“We make sure they come to us to get that training and we make sure that we give them our best and they understand the fundamentals of marksmanship.”
Duroseau perspective on taking care of the Marines' basic need to be a rifleman was noticed when Capt. Jared Dalton, the team captain of the Marine Corps Shooting Team, was selecting a team of military marksmen to participate in Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2016.
“When Capt. Dalton approached me he said that I would be a great asset because he needed people that knew how to shoot and are great at understanding marksmanship,” said Duroseau. “The fact that I came here has opened my eyes on a few things that I will take back to the rear. The Marine Corps should go back and focus on everything about marksmanship.”
Experiences in life, be it seeing the world to hardship on the homestead, are what drive people to become who they want to be, according to Duroseau.
“Whenever I come home I try to share a lot of things with my friends and I tell them if you want it you can make it, even when you thought you lost everything,” said Duroseau. “Whenever you put your mind to it and you want it there's nothing stopping you.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Terry Brady
Marine Corps News
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