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Family Isn't Always Blood
by U.S. Marine Corps CWO2 Bobby J. Yarbrough
October 7, 2021

Deondre McIntyre was nearly three years old when his brother Deron and him were released into the Michigan foster care system.

At that time, Mark McIntyre and his wife Robin’s youngest daughter had just turned 16-years old and Robin found their home was too quiet. Mark was busy working as a metal fabricator, a job he had held in the town of Wyoming since he left the Marine Corps in 1984, and Robin was a stay-at-home mom.

Robin believed their roles as parents weren’t finished yet, so they decided to become foster parents.

“She believed we could give children what they needed ... love, support, and a stable home,” said Mark.

Soon after becoming foster parents, they received a phone call from a social worker that would forever change their life ... twin boys needed a family. When Deondre and Deron arrived to their home, they could barely speak knowing only three words ... hi, bye, and car.

Rct. Deondre McIntyre, a recruit with Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, practices the leg sweep during martial arts training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC on Sept. 16, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by CWO2 Bobby J. Yarbrough)Mark and Robin’s love for Deondre (left as a Marine) and Deron grew over the next two years and they made the decision to adopt them.

Over the years, Mark played an essential role in his sons’ lives by teaching them valuable lessons through activities like Boy Scouts, church, and fishing.

Deondre said spending quality time with his dad are his most cherished memories in life.

“We are really close and do almost everything together,” said Deondre. “My dad is a simple man who likes to get his hands dirty. We like to do the same things and I love him a lot for everything he has taught me.”

In high school, Deondre became interested in pursuing military service upon graduation. Mark had served four years in the Marine Corps as an aerial radio operator and although he wanted Deondre to wait until he graduated high school to enlist, he was supportive of his decision.

“He was very supportive,’ said Deondre. “He told me stories of what he did and experienced and tried to prepare me. Honestly then, I didn’t really understand what marching or drill was so I didn’t take it that seriously. But now that I am here, I get it.”

Since Deondre arrived to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Mark said he has been writing weekly letters to him to tell him how proud he is of him. Mark said he will be overwhelmed with emotion when he watches Deondre walk across the parade field in Dress Blues and graduates as a Marine.

“Watching him is going to bring back a lot of memories,’ said Mark. “As a dad, I am going to be extremely proud.”

Deondre said his dad will cry when he graduates. Mark agreed.

Following boot camp, Deondre is scheduled to attend the Marine Corps Communications and Electronics School and become a radio operator ... just like his dad.

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