"In May 1984, my mother, then aged 18, walked up to a military recruiting station in Indianapolis. There were two offices next to each other in the strip mall: an Air Force recruiter, and a Marine Corps recruiter. My mom had already determined that she was more interested in the Air Force, and had (much to her parents' great relief) decided against even talking to the Marine recruiter; at just over 5 feet tall, and never athletic, my mom doesn't come across as the ideal soldier.

She proved them wrong!

As she walked up, she ran into the Air Force recruiter, who started to chat with her as they walked. After she told him she had also briefly considered the Marines, the Air Force recruiter laughed and replied, ‘You made the right choice, honey. You probably wouldn't make it through Marine boot camp.’ She turned, walked into the Marine recruiting office, and a few months later shipped out for Parris Island. Four years later, she met my dad. She has always said that, if that recruiter hadn't said that, she would never have given the Marines a thought again."

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