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Where Are They Now? Garrett Crocker

By: Carissa Zawiski/Sophomore Writer

Garrett Crocker, a 2018 graduate from Blue Ridge, is in the Private 1st Class of the Marine Corps and completed basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina.

According to Crocker, boot camp was a lot of hard work, but well worth it.

“The final days,” he says, “were among the most trying. Those last days are spent completing the Crucible.”

The Crucible, according the marineparents.com is “a test every recruit must go through to become a Marine. It tests every recruit physically, mentally, and morally, and is the defining experience of recruit training. The Crucible takes place over 54-hours and includes food and sleep deprivation and over 45 miles of marching.”

When discussing the Crucible, Crocker says, “It was probably one of the most emotional times of my life. The Crucible is so exhausting. I think I barely ate during the last 24 hours of it because I was out of food, although another recruit shared what food he had. By the time I was handed the Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem, an actual chill ran down my spine, and I got very emotional.”

According to Crocker, the emblem is considered sacred because it marks the completion of a recruit’s final test to become a U.S. Marine.

Crocker’s advice to those thinking of joining the Marines would be, “Don’t second guess yourself.  If you want to do it, do it. You’ve got to be committed, but if you push yourself, you can make it. I am so glad that I pushed myself because I feel set up to succeed. I have a paycheck, health insurance, housing–and I am doing something I like.”

For now, Crocker is looking forward to Infantry Training.  He also can’t wait to be deployed, saying he would really like to go overseas.

Crocker left this past Monday, February 11, 2019, for the Corps’ School of Infantry (SOI) at Camp Geiger in North Carolina, a satellite campus of Camp Lejeune where he will spend the next 59 days at Infantry Training Battalion (ITB).

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The Raider Reader staff is made up of students from Blue Ridge High School who are part of the school's journalism class. Students write, edit and produce the the news found at RaiderReader.Org.
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