Marine leads at home, Corps

Marine leads at home, Corps

Pvt Jeremy D. Breidel, Platoon 3225, Company K, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, listens to a safety brief during the Confidence Course at Edson Range, Jan. 8. Breidel learned to be a responsible adult while taking care of his brother and has applied his knowledge during recruit training. Photo by Cpl Pedro Cardenas.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego (Jan. 23, 2014) -For most of the young men and women who enlist in the Marine Corps, recruit training is an experience where they learn responsibility.

For Pvt Jeremy D. Breidel responsibility has been a part of his daily life. Breidel, Platoon 3225, Company K, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, enlisted in the Marine Corps to become an example for his brother and to help out his mother.

After Breidel's parents divorced when he was seven, his mother began working additional jobs. Because his father lived in a different city, Breidel took responsibility of caring for his little brother and sister to help out his mother. Although, his father, a former Marine sergeant, did not spend much time with Breidel and his siblings, he taught him an important life lesson.

"He taught me how to care for others before myself," said Breidel. "He was a sergeant so he told me how he took care of the Marine to his left and right."

For Breidel, looking after his brother who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Aspersers syndrome, was not an easy task.

"If my brother ever needed anything I was the person to do it," said Breidel, a Deer Park, Texas, native. "I prepared all his meals, took him to school, ensured his homework was done and made certain he was clean."

Having extra responsibilities at a young age helped Breidel not only become a role model for his brother but also helped him mature faster than his peers. He put the wellness and needs of others ahead of his own.

"I felt like I was actually making a difference and helping my mom out," said 18-year-old Breidel. "I was focused on caring for my siblings before myself."

According to Breidel, his brother's disability demanded perfection from the way his food was placed on a dinner plate to the way he played with his toys. Asperser's syndrome is sometimes characterized by repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

"If his food was not touching each other on the plate, he would not eat it," said Breidel. "He thinks differently but I always tried to make everything less stressful for him."

His brother's disability helped Breidel pay attention to the smallest of details, which became useful during recruit training. Inadvertently, his responsibilities at home helped Breidel endure a smoother transition into the Marine Corps way of life.

In recruit training, recruits are taught attention to detail from making their racks, also known as beds, to cleaning their rifles. Breidel's experiences not only helped him focus but also developed his character.

"His experience shows character and that he can adapt to anything," said Sgt Eric I. Pressman, drill instructor, a Philadelphia native. "He is not a selfish person and taking care of his brother shows he is a team player."

According to Breidel, his goal is to be the best Marine he can be and to serve as an example to his brother. Once he graduates, Breidel will go home for 10 days of leave and continue to serve as an example to his brother.

As a reservist, Breidel will attend the School of Infantry located at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., to become a machine gunner. He also plans to start college once his training is complete and study Criminology in order to achieve his dream of becoming a police officer.