TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Before joining the Marine Corps, Lopez had the opportunity to tryout for Kansas City Sporting, which is a professional soccer team.
• Two of my biggest hobbies are hunting and playing soccer. I grew up with both of them and I still try and do both as much as possible.
• Soccer was always around because of friends and family but I didn’t really fall in love with it until high school. My highschool coach taught me everything that I know. He taught me everything from the skills of the game to how to be passionate and truly appreciate it.
• I love it so much because you can always get better. No one can be a perfect soccer player. There is always something new to learn and that is addicting to me.
• I started out playing mid field. I liked the position because mid fielders get to see both sides of the game. One minute I’m trying to score a goal and the next I’m doing my best to defend my goal. I recently started playing defense but I have always considered myself as someone who can play any position.
• Before the Marine Corps, I had the opportunity to tryout for Kansas City Sporting. It was a pretty big deal to me because that is a Major League Soccer team but I ended up enlisting.
• After joining the Marine Corps, soccer slowed down for me because I obviously had other things to do, but once I returned from my last deployment, I had the chance to play again.
• I was invited by my neighbor to play on his soccer team for the base league. I said yes because of how much I missed playing my favorite sport.
• They needed defenders so I volunteered to play there. I soon found out that the team I joined was the [championship team] of the base league. After playing with them for the past two seasons, we have yet to lose the title.
• I enjoy Twentynine Palms, Calif. because of my friends and my family but it has made it a lot harder for me to hunt. Nowadays, the only time I get to hunt is when I go back to Missouri.
• Back home, it’s almost a part of life. A lot of people I know grew up around hunting but the main reason I hunt is for food. There is something about hunting your own food that makes it taste better. Some people may think it is weird to think that way but that’s all I knew.
• I really don’t have a favorite animal to hunt but if I had to choose one, it would be deer.
• I have learned to appreciate nature from both sides. I am thankful for nature because it puts food on my table but I also appreciate how beautiful plants and animals can be.
• Hunting also sparked my interest for guns. I like learning about them, figuring out how they work, how to maintain them and how to utilize them. That was one of the reasons I wanted to join the Corps.
• I enlisted in the Marine Corps as an infantryman because that’s what I always thought of when I pictured a Marine and I wanted to be that.
• I always pictured myself in the Marine Corps. I wanted to fight for my country and become a part of the famous brotherhood.
• The brotherhood is probably my favorite thing about the Marine Corps. There aren’t many places you can go where someone will risk their life for you just because you share the same title. That means a lot to me.I understand I get a paycheck and benefits. Eventually those will run out, but I know the friends I have made while serving are with me for life.
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TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA, US
This work, What I've Learned: Jade Lopez, by Sgt Alejandro Bedoya, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.