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Voice: Marine ready to do what is needed

September 19, 2001

Before I begin I want to say how happy I was to find the Imperial Valley Press online. In 1991, I was a paperboy for the I.V. Press and always dreamed of writing for the sports section.

Ten years later I'm stationed in Okinawa, Japan, serving in our beloved Marine Corps.

I can tell you right now that no matter how hard times have gotten or how I sometimes wished I would have gone to college, I couldn't be any prouder to say I am a Marine.

With only eight months left in the military and hopes of becoming a California Highway Patrol officer, I find myself in the middle of the biggest crisis the world has seen since Pearl Harbor. My future now holds many question marks and the thoughts of beautiful California and family are on hold.

With everything that is going on, I find myself more mature and calmer than ever, not the same person who was kicked out of Mr. Lira's Spanish class at Central Union High School or the rebellious teen who started food fights at lunch.

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I feel more like the man my mother always wanted me to be. I can tell you right now that we're ready for what the future brings and I'm glad that I'm an American and not the unlucky one that is against the U.S.

It's sad that a country can do so much as a behind-the-back cheap shot and try to deny any involvement. You reap what you sow, so the Bible says, and I strongly believe we will raise fear in the eyes of our enemies.

Like we Marines say, "It's crunch time."

I am not happy about what happened in New York or at the Pentagon, but sadly but truly everything happens for a reason, and I feel like I'm finally part of something that's gonna make a change in the world and possibly be part of history.

All I ask is the American people stay calm and pray for all the families of the victims and for all the people trying to make a positive change in this world. We will get through this, and if it means another four years of service for my country I'll do it.

We all have to make sacrifices one time or another and mine just might be now!

As I finish off sharing my feelings with you I just want to leave you readers with a question. What are you doing to make a change? What could you be doing? Think about it.

Thank you. God Bless and Semper Fi.

ALFREDO AVILA II

El Centro

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