My name is Beckah Terese Malveaux. I am 18 years old.
I'm also in the Marines. Still in basic training, but I am hanging in there as best as I possibly can. Very hard at times, though, when the D.I.'s (drill instructors) are barking at you at any given moment or keeping their eagle eyes trained on you, to see if somebody messes up. I am determined to finish; I've come this far; why back out now??
I'm currently stationed at Parris Island, in South Carolina. It is very hot here, but then again, I'm used to heat: I was born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun Country; still it is very hard when you have nearly 100 pounds of gear strapped to your back and have to go on long hikes.
Several of my Marine buddies have dropped out: they couldn't take the intense 12 week long training that helps shape us into lean, green, and mean Marines, but I am very determined to make my family proud of me. I want to do something that I never thought I could ever do and since I've joined, I am wanting to finish this at all costs.
I don't know where I will go once boot camp ends, but I have dreams of going to Germany or stateside (the Midwest or Alaska, or maybe out West somewhere). I may end up going to a war zone; who knows? That's the price one has to pay when joining the military: if you're deployed to a war zone, then you GO, no questions asked! For all I know, I could end up in Sudan or Afghanistan.
Scared? You bet I'm scared! Scared as hell. I am not even 100 pounds soaking wet and barely clear 5' in height. I'm very tiny. What chance would a tiny Cajun girl like me have in times of battle?? I hate guns and violence and now I'm in the Marines, where guns are a regular part of life, especially if I happen to end up going to the front lines.
I know there is a chance I or my buddies could get severely injured or even killed. Well, we're at war, honey. War is no respecter of persons, no matter if they're old, young, middle aged, black, w hite, Latino/Latina, Asian, or Native. If you go to war, you fight as a team and try your best to eradicate the enemy as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If I die, then I will die knowing that I gave my best to defend my country. To some people I will be a hero but all I was doing was performing my task to the best of my ability. If I DO end up dying, I pray my death is quick and without too much in the way of pain or suffering.
Well, it's about chow time, so I will cut out of here and join the ranks in the chow hall. Then we will probably have free time until 11:00, which is lights out. Then we'll be rolled out of our warm, comfortable beds at 4 or 5 sharp and the boot camp lifestyle starts all over again. Sigh ... take care and God bless; pray that I get through the remaining weeks of boot camp and end up becoming a full-fledged member of the United States Marine Corps! OO RAH!!
~Beckah T. Malveaux, U.S.M.C.