PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. – Two sets of sisters graduated Marine Corps recruit training together, further strengthening their bonds.
The Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in Parris Island, South Carolina, says one set includes Virginia sisters Ashley and Amber Valentine, while the other is comprised of Maria, Vanessa and Melissa Placido Jaramillo, who grew up in Nevada.
According to MCRD, the Valentine sisters joined shortly after their grandfather passed away and wanted to carry on his legacy in the U.S. armed services.
Ashley, 19, and Amber, 22, say having each other to rely on through training helped during some of their highest highs and lowest lows.
“I went through a moment during first phase where I received some bad news in a letter, and she was there to be a shoulder for me to lean on,” Amber said in a press release posted to MCRD’s Facebook page.
However, the Valentines won’t be attending combat training together, because Ashley suffered a hip fracture prior to graduation and must heal. After combat training, Amber plans to serve in the communications field and Ashley will be certified as a motor transportation operator.
As for the Placido Jaramillo family, Maria, Vanessa and Melissa made a pact to join the military together when they were young children, according to MCRD. Melissa and Vanessa, both 22, are identical twins. Maria is a year younger than them at age 21.
During recruit training, Melissa says the sisters succeeded thanks to friendly competition and daily positive affirmation.
MCRD says the three sisters have yet to find out what military occupational specialty they will be assigned but are looking forward to what the Marine Corps has in store for them. All three plan to complete their education, though.