Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Veterans of Fullerton College

“Friendships teach us how to take care of one another and how to take care of ourselves. The direct correlation between the both of them is, if you put all your heart on them, you’re going to get that in return. If you mess up here, you’re going to mess up out there. The most goes to your intuition, you trusting yourself. It’s very intense. You start realizing that if I mess up, it’s not something that will take days, weeks or even months, but in an instant. You feel that you are human and you start to get the sense of I got to make sure I know what I’m doing and that I’m doing it right. Because it’s not about you anymore. Your selfishness goes out the window and it’s about the immediate person to your left or right and you start realizing their your brother, your best friend.” – Gonzo

Gonzo opens up with his views of friendships Photo credit: Valerie Vera

“The reason why I wanted to join the Marines is because I wanted to serve for something higher than me, to give structure in my life. I started meeting people who I became best friends with. Our bonds, our friendships, became really close and we eventually became brothers. When we did our first deployment with each other, we lost two of them and a friend I was most close to became a tetraplegic- he lost two arms and a leg to a landmine when we were on patrol. I was about 15 meters back, and I just see an explosion where I witness his body flying to the right. I immediately went and ran to him in shock, not really caring about any other landmines or anything, even though we are not supposed to do that. I don’t know how he was able to survive, but we ended up getting him to a helo to him on time. When I came back from Afghanistan, I saw him wounded and it made me realize that from what I learned in technology, I can do much more. I can help them and knowing computer science and biology, I immediately knew I wanted to pursue Biomedical Engineering so I can develop prosthetics for Veterans. So that is what I’m doing now, I am going to school so I can help people in those situations.” -Jared

Jared opens up his traumatic story of his wounded friend. Photo credit: Valerie Vera

“When I walked into the Brea recruiting offices, I already knew that I wanted to join the medical side of the military. So I didn’t have the most conventional military career. I went to all kinds of different places and was always traveling to army bases like North Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia. That’s where we did a lot of traumatic brain injury studies with soldiers who dealt with blast overpressures with big cannons, grenades, stuff like that. We did a lot of good work there and then I went to Liberia in 2014 for the Ebola crisis. The reason why we went there is because we were the only mobile lab in the Navy that was capable of packing up and leaving within 24 hours. So when the Ebola crisis happened, the U.S. got involved and told us they needed us to pack and leave within 72 hours. We were out testing blood samples of potential Ebola patients and I was there for a couple of months. It was a good experienced where I learned a lot.” -Eric

Re-accounts his days in Liberia handling the Ebola Crisis Photo credit: Valerie Vera

“Nowadays, when I think about it, it’s no surprise that my first tattoo was a motto tat. The spirit of the corps had me compelled to get “Semper Fidelis” tattooed shoulder to shoulder across my upper back. Latin for “Always Faithful” it’s the Marine Corps motto meant as a guide to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to the country no matter what. It also symbolizes who I had chosen to become as a young man. Having gone to boot camp a month or so after the initial invasion of Iraq, it wasn’t long before I would get the opportunity to prove worthy of United States Marine. The detriment of my combat experience wouldn’t appear prevalent for some years after my deployment. Blinded to the fact that my beliefs and values were being tested. That and the constant feeling of uncertainty, lack of self-awareness accompanied by self-doubt and fueled by an overabundance of alcohol, drugs, and arrogance, I failed miserably. Like so many other veterans, I went through my trails and tribulations. Sometime upon realizing the hypocrisy of having a faith tattoo with no faith, I submitted to personal development. I was able to realize that being a combat veteran, adjusting to civilian life is just another mission. Today, my tattoo serves as a reminder of the type of man I strive to be. To have faith in my journey, my capabilities, future endeavors and to represent my country with pride as a United States Marine.” -Russ

Russ shows off some skin to reveal his very inspirational Marine tattoo meaning “Always Faithful” Photo credit: Valerie Vera


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