No one can say veteran Bryan Escobedo hasn’t packed a lot into his mere 30 years on this earth. He’s known the full emotional gamut that comes with war. We asked the Marine Corps veteran to share his remarkable story, and as you will find out, he was more than generous. The following interview has been edited.
When I was 15 years old, I was sitting in class, and right as we started our second period, the principal came over the loudspeaker and commanded everybody to turn on the TVs in the classrooms. And within five minutes, we saw the second plane hit the twin towers. I knew immediately that America was under attack, and at that moment, I realized that I wanted to join the Marine Corps and fight those guys.
I shipped off to boot camp less than a week after I graduated high school. [My training was] in MCRD, that’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot, in San Diego. [Boot camp is] worse than any documentary can see. Drill Instructors really know how to push your body and mind to the limit. As harsh as it sounds, I fully endorse the exposure to suffering and pain, because it is the only thing that can turn you into a Marine. They have to get rid of all the weakness in your mind, the self-pity and all those things. They’re breaking down your sense of self in order to put the priority on the group mentality over individual mentality. And any Marine I meet today, I know I can trust him with my life, that’s the caliber of the training that we get.
People ask me about the Iraq War. One common thing every Marine knows, is that we’re not there for our congressman but for our boys, our men to our left and our right. That spirit of camaraderie is the eternal thread between all Marines.
To read the entire interview with Bryan Escobedo, click here.