Marine Corps bound: Walter Reyes

Reyes is determined to become a Marine, but he will also study mechanical engineering


Kiana Wilson

Senior Walter Reyes

When most kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up, some common responses are a police officer, a teacher, a veterinarian, or maybe even a pop star, but for senior Walter Reyes he knew by age 5 that he wanted to become Marine.

It all started when he watched the movie Black Hawk Down, which tells the story of 123 U.S soldiers going to battle in Somalia.

“After I watched it, I wanted to to learn more about other branches in the military. Becoming a Marine became my dream,” Reyes said.

Wanting to pursue a career as a Marine may not be a typical job choice, however, Reyes is not the first member of his family to do so. Reyes cousin is enlisted and has inspired and encouraged Reyes to do the same.

“He told me it takes a lot of hard work if you want to become a Marine, but pursue what you want.” Reyes said.

Working hard isn’t something Reyes took lightly.

“One of the hardest parts is being physically fit to meet the demands of the special forces,” Reyes said.

Reyes works out two or three times a week to keep fit and active. One way Reyes has kept fit is through his participation in cross country and track since 7th grade. Robert Bullis, the WHS track coach has known Ryes for three years and has trained him in both track and cross country. Being a former Marine himself, he knows what it takes to become one.

“The Marine mascot is a bulldog. I would describe Walter as a bulldog. He will not fail for lack of effort,” Bullis said.

Reyes knows that becoming a Marine won’t be easy but is willing to do what it takes to make his dream come true. Reyes works with Sergeant David Frederick, who is also a recruiter, every week to do training sessions with other hopeful participants.

“He is not afraid to ask questions and attempts to fully understand everything he learns. He also demonstrates a great deal of selflessness and is always willing to help others, and never quits.” Frederick said.

Workout sessions consist of anything from hikes, runs, circuit courses,and body weight workouts, to  fitness exams, conditioning, strength, and endurance activities.

“The hardest part is the pull ups,” Reyes said.

While the intense workout can be challenging Reyes stays motivated.

“The possibility of living out my dream as a Marine is worth it,” Reyes said.

While wanting to become a Marine is his main goal, he knew he needed to have a back up plan and get an education. Reyes will  attend college for the next four years at Washington State University to study mechanical engineering.

“Math is my favorite subject and plays a major aspect of mechanical engineering,” Reyes said.

Reyes will be  the second person in his family to go to college.

“I was confused when [the letter] said you’ve been admitted because I didn’t know what admitted meant, until my brother got home and told me I had been accepted,” Reyes said.

A slogan that comes from the United States Marine Corps says “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” While Reyes may not yet be a part of the armed forces, he has  a strong desire to do so.

“I want to be reliable for someone and do something outside of picking cherries,” said Reyes.

Reyes will continue to pursue his dreams whether it be as a mechanical engineer or his life dream to be a Marine.

“Mr. Reyes is a hardworking, motivated, and dedicated individual,” Frederick said. “Once he commits to something he does it with everything he has.”