In an interview with CBN News, U.S. Marines shared how their faith in God helped them persevere through the challenges of boot camp in South Carolina. The Marines explained that reading the Bible, praying, and relying on their faith helped them overcome anxiety, stay focused, and feel empowered to keep going. As our nation’s strongest and bravest share that they find their strength in God, they deliver a powerful message that could inspire others to do the same.
Before he graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp, Jacob Watson told CBN News that he felt it was “a blessing to be able to conquer” most of what he was afraid to do at first. He added that he learned how to do things he never thought he could do and highlighted that his faith is what helped him believe in himself and overcome the intimidation. Other U.S. Marines shared that they felt similar. LCPL Bernadette Pacheco explained that while she found herself questioning whether or not she could move forward, she remembered God and thought that if she got this far, God would help her through the rest of what lay ahead.
At the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, nine chaplains fulfill their roles making sure that “every person has the right to practice his or her faith and is free of discrimination.” LT Dawn Ashley, a U.S. Navy chaplain serving the Marine Corps, told CBN News that she cares for the recruits going through boot camp and understands that they experience high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Another U.S. Navy chaplain serving the Marine Corps, LTJG Ian Clark added that one recruit shared that she wrote down the words he told her and she reads them when she is “having a hard time,” because the message gives her “a sense of hope.”
Embracing God’s love and strength has helped these future U.S. Marines endure the challenges of boot camp. Even drill instructors, such as SSGT Evelyn Espinal, find their strength to train recruits through God as they too face challenges training, especially in the first few years. CAPT Stephen Sigmon explained the meaning of living his Christian faith and hoping that his example inspires others to “fulfill God’s calling to be the change or light in the world.” Relying on God and faith, these heroes are setting a positive example to encourage, inspire, and motivate others to persevere through challenges and believe in themselves.