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    Brother By Blood and Title

    PARRIS ISLAND, SC, UNITED STATES

    07.09.2021

    Story by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island S.C.-- When Matthew Rearick was growing up, he struggled to feel close to his family. By the time he was in his early twenties, he saw himself going down a path that he anticipated would ultimately lead to prison. Now, eight years later, Sgt. Rearick says he credits the Marine Corps with changing his life for the better, and he has inspired his little brother, Pvt. Marc Rearick, to follow in his footsteps and become a United States Marine.
    “The Marine Corps pretty much saved my life eight years ago,” said Matthew. “There were a couple of years before that I'm not proud of and I know my family is not proud of either. It was a black mark in my history.”
    When Matthew graduated high school, he moved out of his parent’s house with no direction in life, and considered himself “scarce” to his family. He was not around for his younger brother Marc during this time, and for a couple of years the younger sibling considered Matthew to be a “jerk.” Matthew was 23 years old when his life took a turn for the better, as he decided to take control of his life and enlist in the Marine Corps.
    “He wasn't the greatest person before he joined; he didn't hang out with the right people,” said Marc. “We were never close as brothers before and once he joined it completely changed him. He became a great person.”
    Over the next eight years, Matthew would be further from his home than ever before geographically, but closer to his family than he had ever been. While going through the ranks, Matthew became a role model for his younger brothers and Marc started looking up to him more and more. Despite the distance, Matthew knew that he could be a positive influence in his brother’s life.
    “I'm not there physically,” said Matthew. “I did not get to see his senior night in his basketball game; I didn't get to see all of his musicals at his high school; I didn't get to see a lot of big moments in his life, but I was there for him with a touch of a phone call and I was there for him for a good influence in life.”
    As Matthew and Marc's relationship grew, so did Marc’s interest in the Marine Corps. For eight years, Marc got to witness how much his brother changed and knew he wanted that transformation as well. Matthew, currently a Sergeant in the Marines, was given a new assignment: He was selected to hand pick the next generation of Marines as a recruiter.
    Matthew received orders to be a Marine Corps recruiter in Frederick, Md. to search for those wanting to answer the call. Surprisingly, it would be Matthew answering a call from his own brother gauging his plans for the future, and interest in the Marine Corps. Stunned and excited, Matthew talked it over with Marc. He was ready and willing, but Marc did have one condition-- Matthew had to tell their mother.
    “I was not excited to tell mom,” said Matthew. “I already knew how she felt about me joining, but she was relieved and very happy for him. She knows what the Marine Corps has done for me, and she knew that it could help my little brother out.”
    Marc qualified for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and moved in with Matthew. Their relationship quickly became more professional, as the transition from older brother to leader occurred, which proved to be a difficult adjustment for Marc.
    “It was weird at first,” said Marc. “We could still have fun as brothers, but I had to also learn how to respect him as my leader. He helped me prepare and he gave me the challenge I wanted.”
    In March 2021, Marc shipped to Parris Island to face the rigors of recruit training. Matthew was nervous to see his brother go, as any family member would be.
    “I was honestly nervous; I had that same mentality that every parent has when they ship their kids off to boot camp,” said Matthew. “Did I train them enough?” “Did I prepare them enough?” I knew that I was doing the right thing by sending him. I knew that he was as prepared as he could be, but it is still in the back of your head.”
    Marc was now facing one of the biggest challenges of his life, like his brother before him. Throughout training the Rearick family would send letters to motivate him, but Marc said ultimately his biggest motivation was not letting his brother down.
    “When times were getting hard, I just thought, ‘I got to make my Big Brother proud’,” said Marc. “If Matt can get through it, I can get through it. I'm a stubborn Rearick just like him.”
    After three hard months of training, Marc became a Marine. On July 9, 2021, Matthew watched his little brother march across the parade deck and waited to finally embrace him after a long journey. Once the platoons were released Sgt. Rearick and Pvt. Rearick finally became brothers, not just by blood, but also by title.
    “Now, not only am I his family in the real world, but in the Marine Corps world we're brothers,” said Marc. “It's just the greatest feeling ever.”
    After seeing his little brother in the same uniform, Matthew gave a few words of encouragement for Marc.
    “The fact that I can call you my brother by blood and my brother by title is something that nobody can ever take away from us,” said Matthew. “I love you and I will always be there for you,”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.09.2021
    Date Posted: 07.29.2021 11:20
    Story ID: 402018
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US 

    Web Views: 17
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN