Strength, courage, and faithfulness. Like his uncle before him, senior Cedric Casino wishes to embody these traits in the United States Marine Corps. Casino is one of the few people of Filipino descent who have made the decision to enlist in the Marines. Luckily, Casino has found other Marines who are of the same nationality, but has noticed their small size in numbers.
“In our community, we have these get togethers with the higher ranked Marines and there are actually Filipino Marines in there,” Casino said. “But when I went to [Los Angeles] for the registration, there was a difference in races, mostly [Caucasian] and African-American.”
At first, Casino was unsure about joining the military. He knew very little about what enlisting in the Marines really meant. He soon met Staff Sergeant Chen, a recruiting officer, who helped enlighten him on what joining the Marines really entailed and all of the benefits from joining.
“I thought it was just all about war,” Casino said. “But then when I met Sergeant Chen, he told me about it and persuaded me to join the Marines.”
Upon learning the different resources offered by the Marines, he became more and more interested in joining. What most caught his attention was the myriad of benefits he would obtain, especially the help he would receive with tuition.
“My sister and brother are still in debt [from college], and they’re pretty old,” Casino said. “It doesn’t cover the whole [tuition], but it helps.”
Aside from financial and health benefits, Casino also wishes to grow internally. He looks forward to be able to prove to his family members that he is not as timid as they believe. Like his uncle before him, he aspires to be brave. He believes that taking on this challenge will help him accomplish that.
“[I want] to learn some things; I want to be deployed to Japan if that’s possible,” Casino said. “I just want to experience something not a lot of people get to experience at my age.”
In Japan, he wants to be able to escape from this social bubble he feels trapped in; he wants to be able to travel and be able to find out more of what else there is beyond this community here.
“I feel stuck in this spot of San Gabriel; there is nothing really here for me to find and to truly discover,” Casino said
While in the Marines, Casino also has goals he would like to accomplish. Casino has a four year term and hopes to become a Sergeant in the Marines in that time period. Currently, he is focusing on what lies ahead of him, which is passing his physical and academic tests for the Marines.