Recruiter welcomes sister home from Boot Camp
By Sgt. Matthew Miller
| | August 26, 2004
MOBILE, Ala. --
August 20 was a very exciting day for Sgt Christopher Butler; he had driven nearly 600 miles from Mobile, Ala., to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., to watch a boot camp graduation. But this was not just any graduation.
Butler stood on the parade deck and was bursting with pride to see his sister graduating from boot camp on the same surface he had eight years earlier.
About a year ago, LaToya Butler walked into the office of Sgt. Butler, her brother, and made the announcement, "I want to be a Marine." Butler, a 28-year-old Marine Corps recruiter in Mobile, Ala., immediately started doing the paperwork to sign her up. Everything worked out and she reported to boot camp May 24.
The next time Christopher saw his sister was at Parris Island, Aug. 20, and not just as a sister, but as Pvt. Butler, sister in arms.
"It brought back a lot of memories and evoked a lot of pride for her," said Sgt. Butler. " Being able to witness my sister transformed into a Marine for the first time was very emotional. It wasn't a surprise, I knew she could and would do it, it just means a lot to see her wearing the uniform."
While Sgt. Butler sees a lot of himself in his sister, he noticed some striking differences in how he and his sister chose the Marine Corps as a path in their lives.
"I had to learn things the hard way growing up and she was given more guidance," Sgt. Butler said. "My recruiter had to help put me on the right track so I could go to boot camp. The fleet also straightened me out. She, on the other hand, had the sense to follow good role models while she was growing up."
But similarities in their personalities seem to suggest that she might want to continue to follow her brother's example and enter the recruiting field.
"We're both very adventurous and we like to meet other people," Pvt. Butler said. "We also like to help other people. I realized how much my brother cared, not just about me, but about all the other young people around here since he started recruiting in Mobile."
"We are both very compassionate people," Sgt. Butler said. “I love being able to help the community by helping men and women make decisions that will help them for the rest of their lives. My sister is the same way."
For now, Pvt. LaToya Butler is on her way to the fleet as a disbursing clerk. She doesn't know how long her Marine Corps career will last, but if the amount of pride and respect she has for her brother is any indication, this could be the start of a long career.