Making a Marine: St. Louis educators get an in-depth look at boo - KMOV.com

Making a Marine: St. Louis educators get an in-depth look at boot camp

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This week on News 4, we are taking you inside Marine Corps boot camp. Educators from the St. Louis area got a special invitation to learn for themselves what it takes to be a Marine.  (Credit: KMOV) This week on News 4, we are taking you inside Marine Corps boot camp. Educators from the St. Louis area got a special invitation to learn for themselves what it takes to be a Marine.  (Credit: KMOV)

SAN DIEGO (KMOV.com ) -- This week on News 4, we are taking you inside Marine Corps boot camp. Educators from the St. Louis area got a special invitation to learn for themselves what it takes to be a Marine.

News 4's own Marine, Venton Blandin, was there for it all.

In the dark of night, men and some boys, get off a bus to stand on yellow footprints in San Diego, somehow managing to get chills in the warm California air.

Every young man who has joined the Marines west of the Mississippi, like recruit Elijah Depriest from Overland, Missouri, knows the place.

“I wanted to do this since I was eight years old,” Depriest said. “So, this is kind of like a dream come true. It's almost my life."

Yelling is normal. Running is constant. The Marine Corps becomes the way of life.

It's all exciting for recruit Aaron Smith, who’s from Florissant, Mo.

"Originally, I didn't think I would make it to be in the military per se," he said. "Coming from a place where I didn't- I never shot a rifle, never was outdoorsy.”

2,000 miles from home, Smith has surprised himself with how quickly he’s picked up on the Marine way of life.

Recruits must finish nearly 12 weeks of training to become one of the “Few and the Proud.”

A few educators from the St. Louis area got five days to try boot camp.

"I don't think ‘amazing’ does the experience justice,” said Seckman High School counselor Nicole Stoffey. “As a school counselor getting to experience what Marine recruits endure when they get here, is an amazing opportunity for me."  

The educators went  to see first-hand what recruits go through.

"I was really impressed with the transparency. We were privy to in order to learn about what Marine Corps life is like when they first get off that bus," said Cabrina Noonan, a counselor at Ritenour High.  

From the yellow footprints to the their first military haircut the educators saw it all.

Whether they remember what they saw or heard, the drill instructors made sure to help them remember what they felt.

"We've learned on this end, it is not a fear-based type of learning, but it's more about getting them to meet your standard," Noonan said.

For the educators, the experience turned into a real-life classroom.

"I knew there would be structure. I just did not know the extent. The repetition. The amount. Or the amount of people it takes to make a Marine," Stoffee said.

We have plenty more for you to see. All this week on News 4 at 5:00 p.m. we'll show you not only what boot camp is like, but how Marines recruit young men and women.

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