- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A Muskegon-area recruiting center for the U.S. Marines is attempting to give its recruits a sneak peek into boot camp with a special program.

Classes for boot camp preparation are designed to give “poolees,” the term used referring to those awaiting their ship date to boot camp, a taste of the mental and physical aspects of boot camp training.

The classes are held every Thursday at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Command. At a recent class, the focus was on preparing for the 13-week boot camp and discussing the history of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to The Muskegon Chronicle ( http://bit.ly/1cQZBUR ).

The poolees’ preparation for boot camp also included physical training exercises and a hike.


“I always wanted to serve my country,” said Terrance Summerville, 17, said about his decision to join the Marines. “I wanted a challenge.”

The Marines have a reputation of having the toughest boot camp, said Summerville, who is awaiting his call to attend boot camp.

Summerville said he’s expecting boot camp to be like something he’s never experience before.

For Elizabeth Mendez, 17 and another poolee, said embarking on the path to becoming a Marine stems from people telling her she wouldn’t be able to handle the intense training of boot camp.

“Everyone I knew told me I couldn’t do it,” Mendez said.

Mendez said the classes have helped her “a lot mentally and physically.”

“I feel like I can serve my country,” Gary Carlson, another poolee, said about his plan to become a Marine.

Carlson said that attending the classes is a big part of becoming mentally ready for boot camp.

Pfc. Kelly Peterson said that boot camp is “really tough” and really pushed him to new limits.

Peterson said he met people from all over the world and is more confident and a stronger person overall having gone through boot camp.

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