Welcome to Parris Island Pt. 2: Caroline Bach reports - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Welcome to Parris Island Pt. 2: Caroline Bach reports

PARRIS ISLAND, SC (WVVA) -- Welcome back to Parris Island, as our crews continue on a journey with West Virginia educators, finding out what it takes to make a marine.

The next challenge was to repell off a 47 foot structure. Participants were roped up and assisted by marines in what proved to be a daring adventure.

Participants agreed, even though this is part of basic marine training, it was still fun. For recruits, the training is not as fun.  Educators stood back as some recruits were in their final part of training known as the Crucible. It's a 54 hour event, with very little food and sleep, simulating war-like scenarios.

"We put them through a bunch of leadership challenges," says Sgt. Major Tom Herman. "We put them through live fire events, maneuver under fire. It all culminates in a hike where they're actually presented the eagle globe and anchor, and for the first time they're called a marine by their drill instructor. A very emotional and rewarding time."

Meanwhile the educators had one more chance to prove themselves in their mock marine training with martial arts pugil sticks.

"It was intense, it was a lot of fun," says Mike Davis of the Wyoming County Board of Education. He was able to beat a marine in a round with the pugil sticks. "The fellow had given me some pointers to start with, so that was very nice of him, and he ended up being my competitor, so he gave me a lot of breaks."

Once the educators had finished their training they got to watch as the newest class of recruits turned marines, graduated from Parris Island. Amongst the graduating class was Private First Class Nate Barker, a 2012 graduate of Liberty High School in Glen Daniels.

"I'm so happy it's through," said Barker. "It flew by, but it was rough... I wouldn't change this experience for anything [though]. I'm so happy that I've learned so much."

"It's the proudest any man could be of his son is today," says Nate Barker's dad, David Barker. "I couldn't be prouder."

"It's like a dream, but it's reality, and it's just the best feeling ever to be able to go home," says Nate Barker.

A home that this new marine says, he would not be the same person he was today, if he didn't experience during his childhood. "West Virginia, there's no place like it. No other place as beautiful as West Virginia. But get out and experience the world. And the Marine Corps, it's a brotherhood. And I can't wait to experience more of it."

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