By Santos Reyes
Coachella, Calif. — As his classmates prepare go off to universities and community colleges, Kevin McDonald will take a different route after graduating from Coachella Valley High School on May 31.
“The military has always been my choice since I came home from school on the day of 9/11 and watching the towers fall and hearing how we were going to war to get justice,” said McDonald. “I instantly wanted to be apart of that cause, but now its because I want to better myself and feel at least a little bit of self-confidence that I lack at the moment.”
Recruiters from different branches of the armed forces visit high schools around the Coachella Valley to give students a variety of options that are available in the military. McDonald explains why he was inspired to join the United States Marine Corps (USMC).
“The Marines are known as the best branch, the first to go into the battlefield and the last ones out,” he said, “and if I were to go and risk my life for my country, I want to be the best.”
McDonald isn’t alone in choosing this path for his life.
According to The Department of Defense’s website, the USMC announced they exceeded their active service recruiting accessions goal with 117 percent on the fiscal year-to-date 2012 through November.
Joining the USMC has been a hurdle not only for McDonald but for his family as well.
“My parents do support me on my decisions but have clearly stated they would rather me not go into the military for obvious reasons of having my life in danger,” said McDonald.
Though he expresses his emotions concerning the life decision he has made, he remains committed to serving the USMC.
“Yes, of course, I’m concerned for my safety, but my need to feel like I’m a somebody and make a difference in some way is much stronger and I tend to forget that I’ll have bullets hurling over my head,” said McDonald.
McDonald has plans to continue serving his people after completing his time with the Marines.
“After serving, I’d like to become a firefighter and save lives and continue being a somebody,” he said.