Haiti Native Becomes U.S. Citizen, Marine
Marines.mil | Jul 02 2014
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO (June 20, 2014) - For centuries the U.S. has been a melting pot for people of all races, colors and religion who are searching for better opportunities for themselves and their families. For one new Marine, America offered much more than the hope of opportunity. It gave him the brotherhood he'd been searching for in the United States Marine Corps.
Pvt Jean G. Volcy, Platoon 3243, Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, was born and raised in the third-world country of Haiti. While he enjoyed living there, Haiti suffers from deforestation, which causes frequent, massive flooding, leaving the country lacking for natural resources.
"It's a tropical environment, and I like that, but resources are very limited there," said Volcy. "Water would only come to us a few days out of the week, so we would store as much as we could in jugs or anything else that would hold water."
Volcy learned great discipline at an early age. He believes that is something that developed when he started catholic school.
"I've always been drawn to things that take great discipline to get through, and I knew by attending a Catholic school I would have to stay very disciplined due to the strictness," said the native of Port-Au-Prince. "I think the discipline the Marine Corps displays is ultimately what sealed my decision to join."
His discipline was reinforced by his parents, who he said are hard workers, who always made sure he and his siblings had everything they needed.
"My mother has always been disciplined, even when it comes to her job. She has worked at a bank for 30 years," said 25-year-old Volcy. "My father is an accountant and received his education in New York City, while my mother attended school in Haiti."
However, by the time Volcy turned 15, the political environment of Haiti was a hotbed of corruption and safety was a major concern to many families. His parents made the difficult decision to have him and his younger sister move to America to live with his older brother who serves in the United States Air Force.
"Haiti became politically unstable and kidnappings were starting to occur very often," said Volcy. "My parents feared something would happen to me and my sister if we stayed in Haiti, which is why she sent us to live with my brother in America."
The children began school in Fayetteville, N.C., where Volcy participated in sports such as soccer and track. He was interested in anything that took a great amount of discipline.
The three siblings lived in North Carolina for a year, and then moved to San Antonio, Texas when his brother became an Air Force instructor at Lackland Air Force Base.
"My brother took me to work with him a couple of times when he became an instructor, and it was cool to see how they trained their recruits to become airman," said Volcy.
The high school senior knew he wanted to join the military, but did not take the step right away, choosing to further his education instead.
"At first I wanted to go to college. I couldn't get the financial aid I needed to help pay for it, so I just got a job and went to work," said Volcy. "After six years, I decided I was tired of doing the same thing. I felt like it was my calling to join the Marine Corps, so I talked to the recruiter, and he told me about the amount of discipline it would take and the brotherhood the Marine Corps offers."
Volcy explained he is a man who is committed to his family and the Marine Corps reinforces that trait.
"My recruiter told me if I was looking for brotherhood and discipline, then I was joining the right branch of military," said Volcy. "Honor, courage and commitment are things I really cherish close to my heart."
After going through recruit training, Volcy realized he found the brotherhood he had been looking for.
"We've all experienced a lot in the few months we have been at recruit training," said Volcy. "The thing I love the most is the fact that I can look to the Marine on my left and right and know they will always be there no matter what. We look out for each other."
Before he graduates recruit training, Volcy will be naturalized as a United States citizen.
Now that Volcy has graduated recruit training, he will attend four weeks Marine Combat Training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., for further training. Once that is completed, he will continue to follow-on training to learn his marine occupational specialty as a motor transporter operator.
Volcy has his future goals set high. Upon completion of his four years as an enlisted Marine, he would like to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., to become a future commissioned officer and Marine Corps leader. He has aspirations of making the Corps a career.
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