Two Sets Of Sisters Graduate Marine Recruit Training
by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dana Beesley
Three days before her grandfather passed away, Ashley Valentine (19) made a promise to carry on his legacy in the United States armed
services. After deciding to join the Marine Corps, her sister Amber
(22) made the decision to enlist as well.
Marine Corps sisters Amber and Ashley Valentine pose on Peatross Parade Deck Nov. 13, 2020 on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley)
“After talking with
the recruiter about how it would impact my life, I was committed,”
Amber said. “I was ready to go no matter what.”
for her sister to be approved medically before she went to recruit
training. The Manassas, VA natives both agreed that having each
other to rely on through recruit training helped during some of
their highest highs and lowest lows.
“I went through a moment during first phase where I received some
bad news in a letter, and she was there to be a shoulder for me to
lean on,” Amber said.
The two are not attending Marine
Combat Training together however - Ashley suffered a hip fracture
prior to graduation and will be remaining on the island while she
The two sisters both have faith and confidence in
each other on the next step of their lives, despite being physically
distant. After they complete Combat Training, Amber will continue on
in the Communications field and Ashley will be certified as a Motor
“I know she’s going to be ok,”
Ashley said of her sister. “She’s always been independent and I know
she’s going to succeed in her career.”
When Maria, Vanessa
and Melissa Placido Jaramillo were young children, they made a pact
to join the military together; yet it was their unbreakable bond
that got them through the trials of recruit training.
Marine Corps sisters Melissa, Maria and Vanessa Placido Jaramillo on Peatross
Parade Deck Nov. 13, 2020 on Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Parris Island, SC. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley)
three sisters were born in Panama and moved to Las Vegas at a young
age. Maria (21) said she loved war movies growing up; When she saw
“Tears of the Sun” for the first time, she said she was truly
inspired the join the military. After learning about the ROTC
program, she found her true motivation to become a Marine; to honor
her family and give back the country who gave her so much.
Her other two sisters, identical twins Melissa and Vanessa
also in the ROTC program exploring their options of different
branches, but it was their younger sister who first spoke with a
Marine Corps recruiter. During recruit training, it was friendly competition and daily
positive affirmation that keep their relationship with each other
strong, Melissa said.
“When one of us is lacking and the
other is strong in that area, we always push each other to become to
best we can be,” Melissa said.
“We have an unbreakable bond,”
Maria said. “We are always together, but we know how to live
separately. I know that my sisters will always be there for me, even
when they are not physically with me.”
The three sisters
have yet to find out what Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) they
will be assigned, but are looking forward to what the Marine Corps
has in store for them. Maria says she is excited to expand her
knowledge of a new occupation while completing her education.
Melissa and Vanessa also both intend to complete their
education, Melissa as a double major in Political Science and
Medical Science, and Vanessa in Political Science and Legal Science.
They all will become nationalized as American citizens.
Five Marine Corps sisters ... Amber and Ashley Valentine and Maria, Melissa and Vanessa Placido Jaramillo ... graduated from MCRD Parris Island Nov. 13, 2020.
They now not only share the bond of sisterhood, but the pride of becoming United States Marines side-by-side. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley)
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