On Nov. 10, 2016 the Marine Corps celebrates their 241st birthday. 59 News caught up with one marine on why she serves our country.
“Just becoming a marine it’s something you can’t describe, it’s just an amazing feeling,” says Private First Class Emilee Russell, United States Marine Corps.
At age 18, PFC Russell traded her tennis scholarship in for a uniform to be a part of the United States Marine Corps.”I just wanted to challenge myself and definitely join the world’s finest fighting force,” says PFC Russell.
This decision completely changed her life. Soon she shipped off hundreds of miles away to Parris Island for training. “Being away from my family, that was probably one of the biggest challenges for me because I’d never been away from home before,” says PFC Russell.
The distance didn’t only affect her. Joining the marines was a lot for her loving parents to digest. “It’s hard for her to be gone but in the other sense your proud to say your daughter is a United States Marine,” says Emilee’s Father, Jim Russell.
Through months of vigorous training, Emilee has learned to overcome tough circumstances. “Being at Parris Island and going through boot camp there were challenges everyday and for me it was the mental challenges,” says PFC Russell.
With the help of her support team, she has been able to overcome those challenges and live her dream as a marine. “My family all throughout recruit training, they were my main motivation,” says PFC Russell. “Everybody is proud of her not just her family but the entire community,” says Emilee’s Father, Jim.
People have come up to Emilee just to thank her for her service and she says that means more than anything. “I didn’t even know who he was and he just randomly came over and shook my hand and thanked me, it’s things like that which make it all worth it,” says PFC Russell.
She’s excited for what’s coming next. “It’s just so amazing to me and I’m proud of my accomplishments so far and I can’t wait to see what else the marine corps has in store for me,” says PFC Russell.
Emilee will spend the rest of this week home in Raleigh County as she prepares to go to California for job school where she will be the first female in her position.