A walk in my shoes: Alumni & Marine, Bryce Roney

Shealyn Mandle, Editor in Chief

When Bryce decided he wanted to become a Marine, it was a major decision for him. The path that laid in front of him was blurry and confusing. He was only 19 and didn’t know what he wanted to do with the rest of his life nor how he wanted to do it. Bryce considered playing football in college but later realized that this was not the career he would like to pursue for life.

That’s when he met Sgt. Sullivan, a recruiter for the United States Marines. They talked about opportunities and what the future had in store for him if he were to enlist.

Then it happened, he decided to take the risk and take the path that only 1 percent choose to take. He wanted to be apart of those few. Before he knew it, he was signing a contract on March 4, in a few short months he would be becoming a Marine.

The months that passed were fuzzy. He graduated from high school and spent his summer checking off his bucket list. Bryce said goodbye to his family and got on the bus to San Diego, completely blind to what would happened next. He stood there, staring at the yellow footprints underneath his feet. The only thing that crossed his mind was, “What did I get myself into.”

From that moment on, he knew that these next three months would be the hardest times of his life. At 0500 the sargents came into his barracks screaming at all the recruits, “LIGHTS, LIGHTS, LIGHTS!” The boys had to wake and prepare for the day. Most of every hour was filled with intense physical activity.

Many people ask him if being an athlete helped with it, but Bryce said there is close to nothing you could do to prepare for this type of work. They ate three times a day, but yet some days he would find himself starving, not having enough time to eat at all, but he had no choice but to get through it. He ran, drilled and hiked more than anything. Other than that, they were scheduled to practice shooting from distances up to 500 yardds. He was able to shoot expert, the highest level. They learned combat fighting skills and practiced with obstacle courses such as climbing up ropes and walls. They were also required to get gassed to see what it felt like and to know how to act if that happens in a real life situation.

Although the physical activity was excruciating and painful, in Bryce’s opinion the hardest obstacle he had to overcome was being away from his family. He missed and will be missing every holiday this year. This is something he had never imagined.

The road he chose to take is tough physically and mentally but he is going to continue, to see what this future has in store for him. He chose his path, and he is a United States Marine because of it.