Private First Class Dana C. Beesley
When I first told my friends and family I was enlisting in the Marine Corps, my declaration was met with mixed emotions. Some of my family members were worried for my safety and some of my friends were simply surprised that this was the path I had decided to take. All my life I had been the girl who worried constantly about what people thought and sought to please others. I enjoyed playing team sports, but refused to be in the spotlight for fear of disappointing my coaches and teammates. I struggled with self-esteem and confidence to the point where I would not allow myself to be competitive and in turn became discouraged and gave up.
I was first recommended to talk to a recruiter by my best friend Bryson. His dream was to serve in the Marine Corps, but an unfortunate heart condition prevented him from fulfilling that goal. I was just about to graduate high school and thought to myself, “Why not give it a shot?” After talking to the recruiter I started to envision the change I wanted to see in myself, a sense of belonging, a newfound self-confidence, challenge, and adventure. Although I was a bit weary at first, I decided to try a year of college before making my decision.
I am honored to be nominated for this award by my fellow recruits and am grateful that they felt I deserved such recognition. I have grown so much during recruit training, both physically and mentally. With the help of my Drill Instructors, Senior Drill Instructor, and sisters, I can say that I have become a stronger person and gained more confidence through the trials and tribulations I have encountered. I am proud to have made it this far, and cannot wait to see what my future has in store for me.