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By YMPvt Edwin Rodriguez Southern Maryland MD Recruit training was an experience I will never forget. We learned how to push our- selves by trying our best. Not only that but we learned the Young Marines Core Values and how to conduct ourselves at all times. This experience in the Young Marines was fun because I was able to make new friends and they motivated me towards succees. I did better on my PFT by the time I grad- uated and I felt stronger than ever. I had fun at the final recruit encampment. The weekend of our graduation we had a unit encampment. I was expecting it to be hard but I was confident because of all the training we received in the weeks leading up to the encampment. Being in the Young Marines has changed my life. I am a better person thanks to the Young Marines.At first I was scared and ner- vous but now Im loud confident and moti- vated. Being in the Young Marines helped me to improve my grades it also helped me to focus and avoid getting distracted and in trouble in school like I used to. It taught me to be respectful to adults and to be helpful to younger children. Earning the title of Young Marine at the end of re- cruit training is the best thing that has ever happened to me Ooh Rah and Semper Fi- delis Im Learning to Set and Achieve Goals By YMPvt Leilani Rodriguez Southern Maryland MD The Young Marines experience has been great for me On the first day of recruit training I was a little shy and nervous but as I went to the weekly training sessions I felt more confident and very proud to be part of this great program. It really made me feel good that my parents are so proud of me for doing this. When I got my Young Marines Basic Guide Book I was really looking forward to learn- ing all about the Young Marines so I would read it day and night. I enjoyed learning about all the ranks in the Young Marines and the history of this program. I learned that the Young Marines were founded in Waterbury Connecticut. in 1959. I never knew that The final recruit encampment was the very challenging and fun at the same time. I never had to wake up at 2 in the morn- ing to stand fire watch but it was a great experience. I feel really confident about myself and way stronger than ever before. I will always be a Young Marine. Ooh Rah As a Young Marine Ive Gained Confidence Southern Maryland Brother and Sister are Young Marines Editors Note Below we present the stories of the Rodriguez siblings of the Southern Maryland Young Marines. Brother Edwin and sister Leilani have both earned the title of Young Marine and the two of them share their stories of how their lives have been changed for the better since joining the Young Marines. Young Marines please share your stories of how your familes have participated in the program especially when you have more than one member involved. By YMLCpl Weston Mayfield Eagle CA What I learned in drug de- mand reduction or DDR is that drugs can take away so much from your life and everything that you care about is gone. Your family friends job loved ones and most im- portantly your life. Drugs can be very evil and unhealthy. Some people will try will try drugs and wont stop. You can become so addicted to drugs that you wont want to stop. In some places they are legalizing marijuana. Drugs kill your brain cells and make you feel very different. Lots of drugs can lead to death by overdos- ing while abusing them. Drugs can cause hallucinationsvomit- ingweaknessand dizziness.Some peo- ple are so addicted to drugs they even kill and steal in order to obtain drugs by any way possible their addiction is that powerful. Not all drugs are bad but its the way that people misuse and abuse them. Please if you take drugs or are a drug addict seek help and break the habit. Make your state a better place. Be the change you want to see. We Learn to Avoid Drug Abuse and Make a Positive Impact ESPRIT Page 25