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MARINES: THE FEW, THE PROUD story by brayli dripps This summer, Collin Wasser, a 2011 Gig Harbor High School graduate, headed down to San Diego with about 600 young men to spend thirteen weeks as a part of the Echo Company at the MCRD (Marine Core Recruiting Depot). “It was the best experience of my life. It gave me a huge sense of pride and accomplishment as well as a bigger appreciation for my country,” says Wasser. Every day the recruits were pushed past their limits and were tested by a few very strict drill instructors.

No matter how tired, hungry, or emotionally drained they were, the recruits worked hard. If they showed any signs of slacking, they were forced to work harder. They had no choice but to try their hardest. With this, they overcame obstacles that they never thought possible. Not only was boot camp tough for the recruits, but also for the families and loved ones they left at home. For thirteen weeks, the recruits were isolated from the world, and their only form of communication was written letters (which had to be earned, of course). “Mail was basically the only thing that kept me happy,” says Wasser, “It was good to know that there was still a world out there, and that there was someone waiting for me that still cared.” Wasser leaving for boot FOR THIRTEEN WEEKS, Wasser was away from his camp took a toll on everyone he left behind. friends and family to expreience the next phase COLLIN WASSER graduated from Marine boot of his life. His parents, siblings, and camp this september in San Diego. girlfriend frequently wrote to Company graduated from boot camp. After Wasser, as they anticipated a letter from him The constant pressure and belittling the graduation ceremony, the Marines were pushes the young men to become strong, showing up in their mailboxes. finally able to leave the base. confident quality citizens. Wasser says, “I “I wrote to him every single day. It was “I felt weird,” says Wasser, “after being think every young adult male should have to hard. Going from seeing him every day, to in such a rigidly structured environment; I just seeing his handwriting once a week… go through something like this. It gives you wasn’t sure how to act outside of the base. It it was hard. But I had to realize that it was a whole new perspective on life and what to took a few days to get used to, but I now realappreciate.” much harder for him. In my life, the only thing ize that it really happened. Throughout the boot camp experience, gone was him. I really graduated from boot camp and I everything had to be earned. Unbuttoning the In his life, everything was gone. Boot am really a Marine.” However, their big succamp was his life, and I tried my hardest to top button of your shirt, rolling your sleeves, cess is only a small step in their adventure. make it an easier experience for him,” says and even standing on floor mats that were They have completed boot camp, and now it labeled ‘Marines’ were all things that had to his girlfriend, Brayli Dripps. is their turn to take their experience out into be earned-- through blood, sweat, and tears. On September 23rd, the recruits in the Echo the world.

GET TO KNOW THE NEW TEACHERS by claire adams

What’s One Thing Your Students Would Never Guess About You? Ms. Ruiz- Math ... I’ve been skydiving before. From:California Been teaching for seven years

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Ms. Berkey- Science . . . I love to mountain bike. From: Franklin Pierce High School Been teaching for one year

Madame Zanuttini- French . . . I work out five times a week. From: Leamington, Ontario, Canada Been teaching for 10 years

Ms. Craig- Student Store . . . I love to travel and one of my favorite places is Mexico. From: Harbor Heights Has been teaching for 3 years

Mr. Dempewolf- Counseler . . . I love hard rock and heavy metal! From: South Kitsap High School been teaching for 20 years

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FOR THIRTEEN WEEKS, Wasser was away from his friends and family to expreience the next phase of his life. COLLIN WASSER graduated from Marin...

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