New Marine Joins Marine Corps to Help Others in Need
DVIDS | March 28, 2016
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. (February 24, 2016) – While sitting in class one day learning about the horrible incidents that were occurring in Syria at the time, one Marine was inspired to serve his country to help others in need.
Private First Class Armando Sajbin, Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, realized that joining the Marine Corps would provide him an opportunity to make a difference in dangerous places around the world.
Sajbin grew up in Guatemala, but his parents sent him to America when he was 16 years old.
"I was put in a foster home in Houston," said Sajbin. "Family life and everything was pretty normal. I didn't really have any problems."
He didn't speak any English when he came to America, but he didn't let that put a delay on the future plans he set for himself.
"It was a little difficult at first because I only knew Spanish, and my foster mom didn't speak it," said Sajbin. "I dedicated myself to learning English while in high school, and I was able to pick it up and understand it better during the four years."
After graduating high school in 2012, Sajbin attended Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas, and studies English literature and psychology.
"We focused mostly on human behavior in my psychology class. I've always been fascinated with how all of that works, so that's why I chose psychology," said Sajbin. "As for English literature, I love to read and write, so I wanted to get more into that as well."
While in class one day, Sajbin learned about incidents that were going on in Syria at the time, and he wanted to be a part of putting a stop to them.
"I remember reading about innocent children losing their lives and other terrible things," said Sajbin. "It inspired me to want to do something about it and help fight against all of the bad things like that."
Sajbin decided that his best bet was for him to join the military.
"One of my friends in college was in the Army, and he was telling me that the Army was too easy to get through nowadays," said Sajbin. "I didn't want that. I wanted a challenge. I wanted something that was going to push me to my limits, so that's why I chose the Marine Corps."
Although education was important to him, Sajbin's desire to join the Marine Corps grew stronger each day. He decided to join even before finishing college.
"I was stressed out because of all the college stuff, and I felt like I wasn't accomplishing anything," said Sajbin. "I'm 24 years old right now. I thought if I had put it to the side, I might not have been able to join whether it be because of some age or physical reason."
After taking his place as a recruit in Echo Company, Sajbin was hit with all of the mental and physical challenges that came with recruit training.
"It was difficult at first, but I came to realize that everything they do here is for a reason," said Sajbin. "After I realized that, I started to adapt more to things, and it got a little easier."
It didn't take long for Sajbin's drill instructors to take notice of him and his efforts.
"I helped out a lot," said Sajbin. "My drill instructors noticed that and they said you have to help those who are next to you. I was pretty fast at doing what my drill instructors told me to do, and they told me that there are plenty of others who aren't like that."
Sajbin's senior drill instructor recommended him for a meritorious promotion because of his efforts. A meritorious promotion promotes a recruit to the next rank when he graduates and becomes a Marine. Sajbin was able to graduate as a private first class instead of a private.
"I think I'll stay in (the Marine Corps) for a while," said Sajbin. "I want to finish up all of my schooling, too. I heard about an officer program that ties in some of the educational stuff as well, so I might look into that. I'm passionate about education, so I'm definitely going to pursue that more while I'm in."
After graduating recruit training, Sajbin's next step is attending the School of Infantry at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., to become an infantryman.
"I chose infantry because I want to get deployed," said Sajbin. "That was my goal from the beginning and I am going to stick with it."