CLEARWATER, Fla. --
Enlisting in the Marine Corps is something many people who earn the title revere as one of the proudest moments of their life. For a father and daughter duo, they express how important and impactful such a commitment and amazing aspect of life it is.
Sergeant Monique Rodriguez is a Marine Corps recruiter for Recruiting Substation Clearwater, Recruiting Station Tampa and she is not the only Marine in her family to serve. Ramiro Rodriguez, a Marine Corps Machine Gunner from 1986-1992, was the first Marine to be a part of new tradition within the family.
Ramiro enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986, right after a career ending injury before wanting to become a baseball player in college. While it may seem that the Marine Corps was a second option, it almost seemed as if it was the best option. He earned the title, became a Marine and served in the Persian Gulf War.
Immediately after the war and his end of service, Monique was born and was raised with her father’s Marine Corps mentality. Monique saw it as something unique and knew someday she was meant to be a Marine. She wanted that kind of attitude, the attitude of carrying yourself with a certain amount of pride and discipline.
“I always looked up to him, I always saw his Marine Corps stuff around the house, I even took a photo in his dress blues for his birthday,” said Monique. “I remember the feeling, the feeling was that I am going to wear this uniform.”
Monique did get to wear that uniform, she graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 2013. She became a field radio operator in the Marine Corps and became a recruiter in the Clearwater, Florida area in late 2019.
“I thought she was only going to do one tour, but she exceeded my expectations,” said Ramiro. “I am proud of where she’s at now and I hope she continues to prove herself.”
Ramiro and Monique both expressed how they already had a strong bond prior to Monique enlisting, however, once she earned the title of Marine, there was a new bond formed. They both spoke on how there is a connection between each other that does not require words, it is just a feeling Marines, old and new have. This bond is something all Marines experience, that sense of pride, relatability.