Leah Goist, USMC 2006-2009
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Hi, my name is Leah Elizabeth Goist. I served in the United States Marine Corps from 2006 to 2009. I am originally from Mt Vernon MO.
So how it all started is, this Marine approached me in his gorgeous dress blues and definitely stood out. Definitely his confidence and everything caught my attention but I noticed he was coming closer to me. Sure enough he was like so have you ever thought about joining the Marine Corps? I was like well my dad, and you know, I come from from a family with a lot of military background. What do you guys have to offer and everything? He basically said, gave me like a brief little thing, his little spiel. He said so, if you could join today would you? I said I’ll get back to you. I made a call to my mother and father and called him back and left that night. Boy was I in for it.
First I was sent off to boot camp. Of course all females go to Paris Island, South Carolina. Was there for 4 months. Then I went and did some Marine combat training in North Carolina. Then I was sent to Twenty Nine Palms, California to do training in my schooling for what my MOS was. Which was 0621 Field Radio Operator, so that was communications. After I was done with schooling I got my active duty orders to Okinawa, Japan. That right there was pretty scary for me because I knew I’d be extremely, extremely far away from my family. But yet I was excited. Always had the passion for traveling. One of the main reasons I joined the Marine Corps was travel.
Over there I basically did my job, communication. They tied in some data and telecommunications as well. It was always communication is very, very crucial, very important. We were always going out on field expeditions, setting up big antennas and breaking them down. Maintaining communication. Just constantly training that trying to get it down to a T.
From there I was sent on some more training over to Pusan, South Korea. That was a hell of a ride! Taking an HSV, which is a high speed vessel, over to South Korea. Pretty scary, rolling from one side to the other in the boat cause of the waves being so high. Anyway over there the weather was quite different. Lots of snow and lot of rice fields. Not a place I would like to live but definitely excited to go and experience the way they live their life. Over there they called their Marines, rock marines. They are pretty hard core. I would hear them up at 2 in the morning getting trashed, over the intercom. Being out there in their skivvies, their underwear. Quite interesting. I was over there for about a month and half then took the HSV back.
I was in okinawa for about 2 years. Very, very beautiful island. Then I was sent back to California and at that time did get out. There was very, very good experiences but I did have some bad experiences which pretty much led to me getting out of the Marine Corps. Still to this day I’m recovering from those bad experiences but all in all I wouldn’t have changed serving for anything in the world. Nothing can even compare to it.
The Marine Corps definitely pushes you to extreme, to THE extreme. A lot of time I felt like I wanted to give up but they push you and you know the first thing that gives up definitely is your mind, your body will go so much further. There’s one thing I am proud of, it’s what I did and what I could do. Met some really, really great people, great people, still stay in touch with them. It’s just, nothing can take away that brotherhood and that camaraderie. It’s just it’s amazing, there’s no other bond really like it. You can just meet a Veteran on the street and instantly, instantly you connect in a way just because you know you’ve made it through hard times. You may not know their story but you know everybody’s story is different, but that connection is there. You can just chat away pretty much.
I don’t know that I would rejoin again. Its kinda like I’ve been there and I’ve done it, learned a lot. I don’t know that I would really go through that again, maybe if I tried a different branch. Like the Air Force, my brother was in the Air Force, he had it a lot easier. Anyway, no, only joking. Still to this day I am proud to be an American and proud to be a Marine. Once a Marine always a Marine, Oorah!