Recently, five sisters, who went into the Marine Corps as two separate families, graduated from Marine Corps training as one family.
“Sisters by blood, now sisters-in-arms”
Ashley Valentine, 19, and her sister Amber, 22, decided to join the military after their grandfather passed away. Ashley wanted to carry on his legacy and decided to enlist with the Marine Corps. It didn’t take too long for her older sister to join her.
The two sisters from Manassas, VA waited so they were both medically approved at the same time so they could enter recruit training at the same time.
And it was one of the best decisions they made.
“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, according to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, S.C.
Unfortunately, these two sisters will not be continuing their training together as Ashley recently suffered a hip fracture, but they have confidence each will do well in their field.
“I know she’s going to be ok,” Ashley said. “She’s always been independent and I know she’s going to succeed in her career.”
Maria, 21, and identical twins Melissa and Vanessa, 22, Placido Jaramillo, originally from Panama, knew they were going to join the military when they were little.
They were so confident about their decision to serve their country – they moved to Las Vegas when they were young – that they made a pact.
It was Maria who first spoke to a Marine Corps recruiter. While Melissa and Vanessa had been in an ROTC program before, they took their time to explore the many branches of the military.
Once all three went to training together, they used their relationship, which Maria described as an “unbreakable bond” to their advantage.
“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.
Although the three sisters are still waiting to hear what Military Occupational Specialty they will be assigned, they are excited to start a new chapter in their lives.
“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,” Maria said.
While these two sets of sisters arrived at Parris Islands with two different mindsets, they’re leaving with one.
Congratulations to these five young women on completing recruit training. Your stories of triumph will inspire others who come after you.
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