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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Marine follows mom's lead

By Lance Cpl. Nicholas Tremblay | | November 21, 2001

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Throughout history, the Corps' legacy has been passed from generation to generation.  Recently, this legacy took a less traditional route from mother to son. 

Pvt. Kevin A. Ross earned the title Marine, at Parris Island, S.C., Oct. 26.  His mother, Master Sgt. Lisa A. Dunson, a supply chief with Fleet Support Division here, graduated from boot camp Oct. 27 1980. She now has the opportunity to impart Marine Corps leadership and experience to her son.

Ross did not always want to join the Marine Corps, he said. He originally planned to attend college, but after graduating high school, he did not feel ready for secondary education.

Ross admits that his mother slightly influenced his decision to join the Corps. It is a decision that he is proud of and happy with, he said.

"My whole life I was brought up around Marines," said Ross. ÒMy mom told me that the Marine Corps was better than all of the other services, so I took her word for it."

Ross found boot camp challenging, difficult and, at times, he admits questioning his decision to join. But motivating letters with encouraging words from his mother helped him through it all.

Dunson decided not to push her son into the Marine Corps. She let him choose his own path in life. Ross saw everything the Corps can do for an individual, by observing his mother's Marine development.

"Because I was a recruiter, a lot of people thought I told him he had to join, but he had a choice," said Dunson.

Ross was attracted to the Marine Corps because he attended different Marine functions with his mother, he said. He saw, first-hand, how Marines are a family and take care of each other. He also liked the camaraderie that takes place among Marines and the special bond they share Ð a true band of brothers.

"When my son graduated boot camp I was extremely proud," said Dunson, with a smile. "He never wrote me to say he wanted to quit."

Ross will go to 29 Palms to be trained in the communications field, once his 10-day boot camp leave is over. He has only been in the Corps a short time, so he is not sure if he will make it a career, he said. Nevertheless, his mother thinks he made a good decision and that the Corps can be a stepping stone to another career.

"Even if he only serves four years, he will be mature, he will have discipline and he will have structure in his life," said Dunson, who has spent 21 years in the Marine Corps. "After his first term he'll be ready for the world. Marine Corps boot camp is the best thing that could have happened to him."

Now that Ross is in the Marine Corps, he will be away from his mother, but she is not worried.

"My motto has always been, take care of your troops," said Dunson, "and I know the Marine Corps will take care of him. I will miss him, but he is in good hands."

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