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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
Family values encourage new Marine to improve quality of life

By Lance Cpl. Frances Candelaria | | May 26, 2010

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Private First Class Duy Trinh cleans his rifle for the last time before turning it in to the depot armory.

Private First Class Duy Trinh cleans his rifle for the last time before turning it in to the depot armory. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Frances Candelaria)


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Private First Class Duy Trinh checks his gear to make sure it is serviceable and all accounted for before returning it to the property control office.

Private First Class Duy Trinh checks his gear to make sure it is serviceable and all accounted for before returning it to the property control office. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Frances Candelaria)


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MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- When thinking about a question he has just been asked about his life Pfc. Duy Trinh takes a moment to reflect on the answer and also about how it may sound.

“I was born in Saigon, Vietnam,” said Trinh through broken English.  Something in the way he pauses shows in his as eyes, as if the 20 year old goes back to his birthplace and through all his memories that brought him to this exact moment in his life. “My grandparents fled after the Vietnam (conflict), and all my relatives split up after that, some came to the states.”

Born as the only child to a construction worker and a housewife, Trinh dreamed of growing up to be an engineer, but when his parents decided to move to Garden Grove, Calif. in 2004 the young man focused on learning to speak English and finishing school.

“I started (American) high school with only three months left of my freshman year,” said the Bolsa Grande High School alumni “Mr. Bridges was a (English as a Second Language) teacher, he helped me a lot.  I liked him because he was an instructor first but was very careful in the way he actually listened to me.”

Trinh learned that his teacher was a former active duty Marine and heeded his advice when it came to learning and has carried the guidance with him ever since.

“He always told me ‘Your books are your weapon, like a rifle to a Marine.  Every time you come to school your books are your rifle, without them you can do nothing.”

Though Trinh focused his efforts in school and continued his education at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif. he became unsettled while staying at home and watching television.

 “If you stay at home and watch the news you realize you can’t do anything,” Trinh said, “but if you become a part of something you can make a change.”

So after sitting around through two years of college Trinh looked into joining the military and decided on seeing a Marine recruiter for adventure, the chance to travel and to become the change he wanted to see.

“When he first came into the office he was real quiet and didn’t say much,” said Trinh’s recruiter Staff Sgt. Edgar Ruiz, recruiter, RSS Santa Ana, Calif. “He changed a lot in the delayed entry program.  He would show up to the poolee functions and p.t. he started coming out of his shell.  He was really motivated and very proud to go to boot camp.”

Now that Pfc. Trinh has earned his title as a United States Marine he will go on to become an engineer equipment mechanic and is motivated to serve in the Marine Corps.

“Semper Fidelis means always faithful.  I want to be faithful and help the thing I love.”



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