Local USMC recruits get taste of Parris Island

Lake area USMC recruit

Thursday night, future Marines from the lake area and their families joined together for dinner and a chance to meet their future instructors.

Twenty-nine future marines listened to their own recruiters, led by Staff Sergeant Douglas Dixon, and several other guest speakers.

The speakers included the commanding officer and sergeant major of the recruiting force for the entire region.

Also in attendance were two drill instructors from Parris Island, South Carolina, two of the toughest instructors the recruits will deal with when they head to boot camp.

The dinner served as a chance for parents to ask questions and voice concerns about their children.

"It gives the parents a snapshot of what their son or daughter will experience at recruit training," said Sergeant Major Lonnie Travis who serves at the Baton Rouge recruiting station. "It also dispels a lot of the myths and rumors of what they've heard about recruit training. It gives them the ability to ask any question that they may have prior to their son or daughter going to recruit training."

"The families are making a commitment to the Marine Corps too," said Major Jonathan Hamilton, Commanding Officer of the Baton Rouge Recruiting Station. "They're going to serve their nation, the demands that that requires. We understand as marines and we understand as marine leaders that the family feels that as well. They're going to go through their apprehensions, their fears when their son or daughter goes to recruit training. So if we have the opportunity to educate them on what that's going to feel like, nothing's going to replace the experience but it is an opportunity to get some of that for them."

All 29 of the recruits are enrolled in the delayed entry program. That means they're all enlisted already but have not yet gone to boot camp.

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