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    Buddy Program Ships Childhood Friends

    Buddy Program Ships Childhood Friends

    Photo By Sgt. Emma Norris | Ethan Homala and Reuben Honkala, Recruiting Substation Green Bay poolees, and...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Emma Norris 

    Marine Corps Recruiting Station Milwaukee

    The buddy program is designed so that people who enlist in the Marine Corps together from the same area can get sent to recruit training at the same time and be in the same platoon. Once Homala and Honkala heard about the program, they decided to sign up.

    The bond between the two did not start at the recruiting office but extends much further back in time than that. They graduated in the same class from Westwood High School and were childhood friends who lived in the same area. Going through the transformation into United States Marines together is the next step in their friendship.

    “One of the funniest memories I have with Reuben is when we were younger and we climbed up into a pine tree. We were shaking pine needles out,” said Homala. “The branch couldn’t handle the two of us up there and we fell out.”

    From the scrapes and bruises of a childhood full of trees, the two friends grew closer and continued to bond further.

    “That was a funny one for sure,” said Honkala. “It’s crazy how far we’ve come since those days. We trained for boot camp together and now we’re off to make even more memories.”

    Having that bond allowed the two friends to push each other while preparing for recruit training and they will continue to push each other while in San Diego. The buddy program provides them the opportunity to continue on with that motivation and competition with each other.

    “Since they enlisted, both of them have grown and matured,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Francfort, RSS Green Bay Recruiter. “Not only are they better physically prepared, but they have become more mentally prepared for recruit training by pushing each other at the weekly warrior trainings and monthly pool functions.”

    Honkala said, “It’s always been really fun for us working towards the same goal. I’m glad our recruiter told us about the buddy program. Can’t wait to see how we work together during boot camp and what we look like afterwards”

    After 13 weeks of rigorous training at MCRD San Diego, these young men will have completed the ultimate test to earn their Eagle, Globe and Anchor and become Marines. They will not only graduate with a stronger bond with each other, but with their entire platoon and the Marine Corps.



    Date Taken: 09.17.2018
    Date Posted: 09.20.2018 17:14
    Story ID: 293781
    Location: MILWAUKEE, WI, US 
    Hometown: ISHPEMING, MI, US

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