Cpl Valieria Lara, U.S. Marine Corps (2017-2021)



The following Reflection represents Cpl Valieria Lara’s legacy of their military service from 2017 to 2021. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life.

Who or what influenced your decision to join the military? Which service branch did you select, and what do you remember most about joining up?

I guess you could say the American Dream is what influenced me to join the military. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I experienced my parents building a dream for themselves that came true. They came to the United States with really nothing but hunger to better their lives for themselves and their children. I saw all these opportunities that were granted to my family to achieve this dream solely because they were on American soil. My parents worked hard and did everything they could for my siblings and me. As a young teenager, I thought about this often and looked up to my parents for their courage to make this huge effort to grant me the freedom of an American. As I was about to graduate, I came to the realization that I owe my country my service to itself because of what it did for my family. I wouldn’t be where I am today if the United States hadn’t given my family a chance. I wanted to serve so that I can continue this American dream and protect the freedoms of American citizens and those immigrants who wish to see themselves as American citizens one day. I felt that it would be an honor to carry this flag that many have shed before me and continue this legacy of our country. My parents pushed themselves and took the challenge, and why not do the same?

I wanted to join the U.S. Marines specifically because of people’s reaction to it. “That’s the hardest branch. You’re crazy!” “You know they have the longest boot camp, right?” all these things were said to me by friends and family alike. It made me want to do it more and more as people spoke of it this way. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could do it if I could actually become a Marine. I knew in my mind this would be one of the hardest things I would ever do in my lifetime. The Marines were different; they always stood out to me. I remember my parents again. They were different. They were immigrants. It takes special kinds of people to want to make a life-changing move to another country, much like it would take a special kind of person to serve their country, let alone join the Marines. I wanted to stand out, and I wanted to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. I am glad I found this gun club. What I remember most about signing up was the countless hours I spent every day after school running and improving my physical fitness to score well on the IST. I was nervous and have never been a fitness person. It was tiring, and some days I really didn’t want to go on a long run after doing hours of homework. I pushed myself anyway and kept going. It paid off, of course. How else would I be here writing this post about my memories?

Read the Military Memories of our Runner-Ups.

Boot Camp, Units, Combat Operations

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U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard



  1. Hal Traynor

    Thank you for your story, we need more people like you who respect this country and want to give back
    The way you did. God bless you.

  2. Atta Oppong Boahen

    Cpl Valeria, thanks for sharing your service experiences. You did well in working harder. A soldier can work well if he does not get himself entangled in civilian affairs such as drinking, partying, and in any thing civilians are caught up with. This does not mean one should not interact with the society. Society needs the Soldier in many diverse ways such responding to natural disasters, emergencies such drought, earthquakes, bush burning, famine and these demand training of which a soldier must acquire the required training to combat these problems. Also we are all in the hands of one God with whom all things are subjected to Him. A Soldier must therefore be prayerful and generous. He who lends to the poor gives to Jesus. Thanks for your service.

  3. George S.

    Ms. Lara demonstrates why the USA remains the greatest country on our planet. The American Dream lives on in this Democracy. It brings hope to those who want more out of life, who want to work hard and provide opportunities for their family. Ms. Lara recognized that her parents took a chance but knew that the USA offered a better life for them and their children. By joining the Military and serving her country Ms. Lara was also taking a chance. She recognized that being a service member allows her to give back to her country, affords her opportunities for her future and brings Honor to her and her family. This decision comes with hard work and danger, but she made the right choice . The future of this country relies on the younger generation to make good choices. Ms. Lara and many others who serve and share the American Dream, are on the right path for Democracy to continue in the USA. Thank you for your service.


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