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U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Anthony Sandoval, a recruiter with Recruiting Sub-Station Mission Viejo, Recruiting Station Orange County, poses for a photo with Peyton Forman, a local teenager with autism, in Mission Viejo, California on August 4, 2021. Sandoval wanted to personally meet with Peyton to get to know him and present him with a Marine Corps shirt. (U.S. Marine Corps photo taken by Sgt. Sarah Ralph)

Photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph

I Do It For The Community

11 Aug 2021 | Marine Corps Sgt. Sarah Ralph 12th Marine Corps District

A Marine Corps recruiter encounters many people throughout their time on this duty. A lot of the time we only hear about the success stories of future Marines, or about the vast amount of opportunities available for those who decide the Marine Corps might be for them. However we do not hear a lot about the individuals who are not able to take on the challenge of becoming a Marine.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Sandoval, a recruiter with Marine Corps Recruiting Sub-Station Mission Viejo, Recruiting Station Orange County, was in the middle of making phone calls when he called the Forman household looking to speak with Peyton Forman. Daily phone calls to local households are common for Marine Corps Recruiters. SSgt Sandoval was making the call to introduce himself and inquire about Peyton's future plans after graduating high school. His mother, Jennifer Carr-Forman answered the phone and explained to Sandoval that her son was special needs and would not qualify to be a Marine. Peyton was born with autism which is something that would automatically disqualify him from joining the military.

Sandoval in good nature explained he completely understood and wanted to know if Peyton would like a Marine Corps t-shirt. Jennifer said that Peyton would love one, thinking that Sandoval would end up mailing one to their home.

Instead of mailing the t-shirt, Sandoval drove out to the Forman household and delivered a shirt, while also being able to personally meet Peyton.

“Bringing him a shirt was not a big deal to me at all,” says Sandoval. “It’s no fault of his own that he was born with autism.”

Serving in the Marine Corps is not just about winning the nation's battles, but about giving back to our local communities. In recruiting, some people only see Marines as individuals trying to convince their son or daughter to enlist into the Marine Corps. Contrary to that belief, Marine recruiters are not only there to find the next generation of Marines that qualify but to also make lasting positive impressions in our communities.

“My favorite part of this job is meeting people in the community and being able to show them a positive aspect of the Marine Corps,” says Sandoval. “Whether they’re qualified for the Marine Corps or not, I want to be there for them. I have family members with special needs so doing something as simple as giving someone a t-shirt hits home for me.”