STATESBORO, GA --
In Claxton, Georgia, the three Cisneros siblings are a part of a closely-knit family who have a lot in common. They played soccer and ran cross country at Claxton High School. Each of them want to pursue college degrees. Now, they all share the aspiration of earning the title United States Marine.
The siblings, Lazaro, 21 and the oldest, Mayra, 19, and Joshua, 17, are poolees in Marine Recruiting Substation Statesboro’s Delayed Entry Program. As poolees, they prepare themselves mentally and physically every day for 13 rigorous weeks of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. Having grown up in rural Georgia, they share the same upbringing, but they developed their own reasons to become Marine reservists.
“For me, it was seeing how the Marines carried themselves and the standards they held themselves too,” explains Lazaro. “Ever since they first came to my high school and taught us about the Corps’ values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, I knew I wanted to be like them.”
Lazaro says he constantly sees these values demonstrated by the local Marines, especially his recruiter, Sgt. Brian Ramirez. He further explained that it was the small things they do for him and his family that he admires a lot, like always offering a ride home after physical training, letting them borrow exercise equipment to use at home, and giving him advice when he is in difficult situations.
After his initial training is complete, Lazaro plans on using tuition assistance to continue his mechanical and electrical engineering education at Georgia Southern University. He is scheduled to ship to Parris Island in October, on the same day as his sister, Mayra.
When asked why she also chose the Marines over other branches, Mayra’s response was quick and honest.
“I didn’t want to take the lazy way out," she said. "Plus, the other branches don’t offer the same experiences as the Marines.”
Mayra was the first to speak to Staff Sgt. David Dailey, the Recruiting Substation Statesboro staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, and was responsible for Lazaro coming into their office for the first time. She says that family and community are her main influences for joining. When she is not training with her siblings or Ramirez, she spends her time helping raise her youngest siblings and volunteering as a Spanish translator at a local pediatrician office. She explained that the Reserves are a way for her to stay near her family and continue her community translation work while serving her country.
As Lazaro and Mayra take their place upon the famous yellow footprints of Parris Island, their younger brother, Joshua, will be attending his senior year of high school. Joshua sees the Reserves providing an opportunity of receiving hands-on technical experience and tuition assistance for a degree at Florida Technical College. He intends to combine the work experience he gains from the Marines with a computer science degree to assist community churches with their computer networking and programming needs.
Initially, he used to laugh at his older siblings whenever they came home from the weekly physical training with the recruiters, but that changed after he got to experience it for himself.
“I always saw them return home all exhausted and go straight to bed, and thought, ‘It can’t be that hard,’” admitted Joshua.
Then he accepted an invitation to go running with the recruiters and poolees. “I left that first session dying and thinking that this training was way too hard!”
Joshua was drawn to the challenge and seeks to improve his performance by training at home with his siblings. Today, the three siblings train daily together, either by completing calisthenics or practicing pull-ups with the bar given to them by Ramirez.
“I’m glad that Joshua is doing this with us,” added Mayra. “He understands us better now because we all go through the same pain and challenges.”
Their largest supporter outside of each other and the Marine recruiters is their mom, Mayra Dadill. Mayra Dadill said she is proud of her children for wanting to join the Marines and knows they can handle the Marines’ legendary drill instructors and training.
“I raised them in a very disciplined home growing up, so it was no surprise when they wanted to join the hardest branch of the military,” explained Dadill. “But I did warn them though, that if this is something they want to do, they are not allowed to quit.”
Quitting is not something that their recruiter, Ramirez, thinks any of the Cisneros siblings are capable of. Ramirez says he has seen a significant growth of strength from each Cisneros over the past year and has seen first-hand how they help each other.
“I never expected as a recruiter I would meet a family as incredible as the Cisneros,” says Ramirez. “I know that as long as they continue to support each other, they can achieve anything.”