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Two sets of sisters graduate from Marine Corps training together

Five sisters - Amber and Ashley Valentine and Maria, Melissa and Vanessa Placido Jaramillo -...
Five sisters - Amber and Ashley Valentine and Maria, Melissa and Vanessa Placido Jaramillo - graduated from MCRD Parris Island Nov. 13, 2020. Now they not only share the bond of sisterhood, but the pride of becoming United States Marines side-by-side.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dana Beesley)
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 10:16 AM CST
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PARRIS ISLAND, South Carolina (KOSA) - Sisters from two families have graduated from Marine Crops training together.

Ashley Valentine, 19, promised her grandfather three days before he passed away that she would continue his legacy in the United States armed services.

Her sister, Amber, 22, decided to join her in enlisting with the Marine Corps.

“After talking with the recruiter about how it would impact my life, I was committed,” Amber said. “I was ready to go no matter what.”

The sisters relied on each other throughout the training to get through the highest highs and the lowest lows.

“I went through a moment during first phase where I received some bad news in a letter, and she was there to be a shoulder for me to lean on,” Amber said.

The sisters will not attend Marine Combat Training together after Ashley suffered a hip fracture just before graduation.

“I know she’s going to be ok,” Ashley said of her sister. “She’s always been independent and I know she’s going to succeed in her career.”

Maria, 21, Vanessa, 22, and Melissa, 22, Placido Jaramillo were just children when they decided to make a pact to join the military together.

Maria, the youngest, was inspired to join the military after watching the movie “Tears of the Sun.”

All three sisters joined an ROTC Program to explore their options, but Maria was the first to talk with a Marine Corps recruiter.

Friendly competition and positive affirmation kept the sisters' relationships with each other strong during training.

“When one of us is lacking and the other is strong in that area, we always push each other to become to best we can be,” Melissa said.

“We have an unbreakable bond,” Maria said. “We are always together, but we know how to live separately. I know that my sisters will always be there for me, even when they are not physically with me.”

You can read more about their stories online here.

Sisters by blood, now sisters-in-arms: Two sets of sisters graduate recruit training Three days before her grandfather...

Posted by Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. on Saturday, November 14, 2020

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