Private First Class Nicole M. Turner
The night I was instructed to board a bus to MCRD Parris Island was a night I will never forget. I felt as if I was jumping into the unknown. Upon arrival, I was blurry eyed, afraid, and scattered. It was so real, looking down and realizing that my own two feet were outlined by the yellow footprints. The idea of it did not settle, there was no time for mental digestion. We did not have time to look down or even think; it was time to begin receiving. After the short phone call to my mother, I was acquainted with my sisters of Papa Company, Platoon 4017. As I scanned the room, little did I know how close I would become to these strangers. A Molly Marine exemplifies an individual who looks out and cares for the platoon and who is motivated to keep the core values true within the platoon. Molly Marine is the person who is there no matter what; an individual who is willing to lift others up. Ten weeks in, I still find myself scattered at times, but with one another we can easily figure out any obstacles. I take gratification in seeing the platoon come together, realizing that we do not have to face tribulations alone.
I was always independent because I grew up an only child. I was accustomed to feeling lonely or knowing that tasks will not get accomplished if I did not do them myself. Growing up an only child put me in a leadership mindset, always having to start and finish the task at hand with little resources. I have faced many battles in my life, alone. It is a change to look to the left and right and know you are not alone. Earning the title Marine is fulfilling but knowing that I am a figure to my sisters is even more gratifying. There have been plenty of times throughout recruit training where my mental fortitude has been challenged. I knew that I needed to take charge and stay strong, to have direction for the younger girls. A fast vehicle, stack of money, or a big house can never replace the relationships I made within this platoon. No tangible items can replace the mutual, established camaraderie. The thought of having 49 other sisters is gratifying. I am so honored to have the privilege to accept the Molly Marine award.