Growing up some people know exactly what they want to be.  I couldn’t decide on just one thing.  I wanted to do a lot of things!  Teacher, singer, actress, stewardess and hairdresser.   At twenty-seven I got married.  He was an alcoholic and abusive, so I left and moved back with my mom.   I continued working full-time and went to school part-time.  I thought about joining the Air Force to get the GI Bill.  A man I worked with said he would go to the recruiters with me so they didn’t get anything over on me.  The next day Dennis said it’s a good thing you’re joining the Air Force, because you could never do what we do.  To which I replied, “Oh yeah, get me that recruiter’s number!” Dennis called the recruiter from the stockroom.  By the time he got out to my counter, the recruiter had me on the phone.  I was sworn in November 25,1992.  I was all set to go to boot camp on January 4,1993.  Most people thought I wouldn’t make it.  Christmas day 1992, my mom passed away suddenly.  I was devastated.  She was my best friend.  Later that night when I called a friend, her mom got on the phone and said, “I know a part of you died tonight.”   Definitely no one thought I would make it now.    I ended up going to boot camp two weeks after I buried my mom.  Every time I thought of giving up, I would work twice as hard.  There was no way I going home without graduating.  On 30 April, 1993, I marched across the parade deck and became a United States Marine!  A lot of things are going to happen to us in this world, both good and bad.  We can’t use the bad things as an excuse for not going after what we want.  Life is short.  We all deserve to be happy and have everything we want.  I  do know one thing for sure.  If you don’t go after what you want, you will never get it.  What are you waiting for?  Go get it now!  Semper Fi. 

Becoming a United States Marine


  • Pat White served her country for twenty years.  The first sixteen years were in the United States Marines and the last four were with the United States Air Force.  Pat was also a special education teacher with the School District of Philadelphia for twenty years.  She lives at home with her husband and son.  They love to travel the world together.