Western New England Educators Visit Parris Island
By Staff Sgt. Johnathan Agee
| | October 29, 2004
MARINE CORPS RECRUITING STATION SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --
Recruiting Station Springfield hosted its Educator Workshop at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., Oct. 26 through Oct. 29.
The workshop showcased the transformation of recruits to Marines while highlighting the intangible benefits of the individual Marine.
Twenty-four educators and media guests from Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut attended as RS Springfield guests.
Several educators who attended the workshop had little knowledge of the discipline and determination it takes to become a Marine. Many watched documentaries on television and spoke with Marines from the local area, but few witnessed the process first hand.
"After seeing the process first hand, I would have no reservations if my two daughters and only son came to me and asked if I would give them my blessing to sign up,” said Scott MacPherson, Somerset High School hockey coach.
During the workshop Recruiting Station Springfield was able to show first-hand how a recruit is trained. And through that training the change from a recruit to a Marine was witnessed through the attendees’ eyes.
The guests were able to see how training begins, how recruits learn to work as a team and how each individual Marine becomes an invaluable educated warrior.
"No video could ever have given me the understanding I now have of the process one goes through to become a Marine,” said Donna Blue-Tobin, Pilgrim High School head of guidance.
In addition to observing Marine Corps training, attendees also received a taste of what life as a recruit may be like. Gunnery Sgt. Tawanda Haynes-Lorminier, drill instructor and escort for RS Springfield’s Educator Workshop, ensured the educators worked and performed as a team. Haynes-Lorminier even marched the educators in formation when traveling by foot around the island.
“In order to give information to their students, I thought they should experience some of it themselves,” said Haynes- Lorminier.
The workshop climaxed on the final day when the guests were invited to attend a recruit graduation. For many educators this was the highlight of the trip, because it symbolized everything they had witnessed during the past two days.
"The [Eagle, Globe and Anchor] ceremony was fabulous as well as eating with the recruits,” said Suzanne Niemiec, Emmett O’ Brien Technical High School guidance counselor. “I was able to see and meet dedicated young men and women.”
“Personally, the highlight was getting to fire an M-16,” said Gordon Dritschilo, Rutland Herald reporter. “Professionally, the experience was more than just a sum of its parts. I can’t point to any one part as the best. It was a massive learning experience, the value of which I cannot overstate.”
Overall, this year's Educator Workshop was a positive and informative experience for all who attended. “It brings a sense of patriotism for them and they are able to realize what a great country this is,” said Maj. Henry Centeno, executive officer, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion and RS Springfield escort. “The biggest thing to take away (for educators) is telling the Marine Corps story to the students … the truth; not what they may have seen on television.”