SPECIAL REPORT: Marine Boot Camp Part 2 7/12/13
CBS 7 News
The majority of these men and women are no older than 19. Yet they make the decision to leave their families and step-up to serve the country, but first they must prove themselves and earn the title United States Marine.
From all walks of life recruits from around the nation take on the grueling 13 weeks of training to becoming a Marine.
They are physically and mentally broken down, and then built back up as our nation's defenders.
“I’m almost a United States Marine and I can't wait to see you guys I miss you and I love you,” was Christopher Guijarro's message to his family back home in Midland.
Despite the countless challenges he faces it’s being away from home that is the hardest.
“Ready to go back home to good'ol west Texas that's for sure,” he said.
Meanwhile, his family carries on with their weekly barbeque dinners, but Chris is always on their mind.
“As soon as he turned 18, three days later he was in that office,” Diana Rodriguez
The recruits' anxious mother says this is her son's dream.
The only contact the family has had with him is through letters.
“I feel like I won the lottery I just got a letter from my son,” his mother said.
“I read letters from my family and the other day I was able to call my family for travel arrangements it was a very good time for me,” Guijarro said.
But before their long awaited reunion Chris is required to take the final test.
The Crucible, is a three day test of fortitude. Recruits take to the mountains of Camp Pendleton.
They are pushed to the point of exhaustion with little sleep or food carrying nearly 40 pounds in combat gear.
“The crucible is tough, but I know it's going to be worth it,” Guijarro said
Finally a 12-mile-hike up the steep side of a mountain called The Reaper.
On the way down they can barley stay on their feet, but they carry on knowing they're just moments away from the words they’ve been longing to hear.
"Congratulations, marine," said a drill instructor to a recruit as they receive the eagle globe and anchor, which marks the end of their journey.
“After the crucible we become a marine and then next week we will be able to see our families,” Guijarro said.
Two-and-a-half weeks after his interview with CBS 7 Christopher Guijarro finished the Crucible and graduated.
A moment his mother had no doubt would happen.
"I’m talking about intelligence I’m talking about personality I’m talking about commitment and drive that's the type of human I raised," she said.
“It’s their history, their tradition and their culture, it motivates me and I want to be part of that too,” Guijarro said.
Now the Marine begins a new life with a family known as the few and the proud.