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    Another year, another country for Clifton native

    Another year, another country for Clifton native

    Photo By Spc. Chelsea Russell | Corporal Erica Adams, a motor transportation mechanic with I Marine Headquarters Group...... read more read more

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, AFGHANISTAN

    05.05.2012

    Story by Spc. Chelsea Russell 

    Regional Command Southwest

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - When Cpl. Erica Adams decided to join the Marine Corps Feb. 7, 2010, she knew she wanted to be a motor transportation mechanic. Although it’s a choice most people might question, especially for a female, Adams is passionate about her job.

    “Growing up my dad would show me how to fix my own car,” said the candid Clifton, Ill., native. “I was a tomboy. I did all the dirty work and the yard work.”

    When she made the choice to enlist she knew exactly what she wanted to do for the next four years. She proudly described her job and said she’s always busy fixing trucks, which helps makes the time go by faster. The camaraderie she shares with her fellow mechanics is invaluable.

    Adams, who is attached to I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) at Camp Leatherneck, never planned on joining the Marine Corps – it just kind of happened. Her best friend’s brother was home on recruiter’s assistance and Adams decided to tag along with them to the recruiting station. She didn’t plan on signing up, but her best friend, Danielle, did. In a surprising turn of events, when they walked out of the recruiting station later that day Adams had joined instead.

    Her mother and sisters were stunned when they found out she had chosen to enlist in the Marine Corps. At first, they doubted her decision and asked her why she hadn’t picked the Army, Air Force or even the Reserves. She replied she had chosen the Marine Corps because the strict standards they adhered to appealed to her.

    When she made the decision to join the Marine Corps her parents were on vacation. They had no clue. Needless to say, they were quite shocked when shortly after their return home Adams nonchalantly placed the Marine Corps business card she had received from the recruiter on the table. Pausing a moment to let them puzzle over the card, she told them she had enlisted in the Marine Corps and would soon be leaving for recruit training.

    Although her parents were initially incredulous, Adams said it didn’t take them long to fully support her decision.

    “By the time I went to boot camp they were all behind me,” she said. “They sent me a letter every day in boot camp.”

    Ever since, birthdays have become a memorable event for Adams.

    “I was in boot camp the day I became a Marine,” said Adams. “The day I got my Eagle, Globe and Anchor was my 21st birthday.”

    She celebrated her 22nd birthday in the Vanuatu islands while participating in a four-month deployment known as Pacific Partnership. She said that since entering the Marine Corps her birthdays have been very memorable. This year Adams will celebrate her 23rd birthday in Afghanistan.

    “I’ve been in a different place every time,” she explained, smiling.

    Adams’ time in the Marine Corps thus far has taken her to exotic locales such as New Guinea, Australia and Hawaii. She never imagined she would visit those places when she was younger. She wanted to travel and see the world, but she didn’t know if she’d ever actually be able to do so.

    “They said I would see the world,” Adams said, laughing. “That was one of the reasons I wanted to join.”

    She said her experiences have taught her the world is a big place with many differences in culture.

    “It’s a whole other world,” said Adams. “There’s a lot of different people with a lot of different ways of living.”

    During her deployment, Adams hopes to gain more experience as a Marine. She’s already managed to pay off her credit card bills. She also wants to have a better understanding of why U.S. forces have deployed to Afghanistan.

    “I just want to bring home the truth about what really goes on and what it’s like to be here,” said Adams.

    She said she’s never met another female from her school that has joined the Marine Corps. It pleases her to know she’s making her family proud by serving in the military.

    “There’s a whole other world out there besides the town that you grew up in,” she said, her voice filled with pride. “I feel like I’m more mature than [the people I grew up with]. I’ve seen and done so much already and I’m only 22. I’m proud that I can make my parents proud.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.05.2012
    Date Posted: 05.06.2012 08:43
    Story ID: 87983
    Location: CAMP LEATHERNECK, AF 

    Web Views: 296
    Downloads: 1

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