PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - Two Evans County siblings are creating a Marine legacy.
You may remember us introducing you to Mayra, Lazaro, and Joshua Cisneros. The three were all taking part in the delayed entry program at the Marine Recruiting Station in Claxton.
Two of the siblings graduated from boot camp at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot in January.
Mayra and Lazaro said they’re different from when they first stepped foot on Parris Island. Some of those changes are easy to measure.
“He can swim now. That’s an improvement. A big improvement,” Mayra said. “Because he’s a terrible swimmer.”
“We’re sharp shooters now,” Lazaro said. “Both of us, like we have here, the badges.”
Others require a little more observation.
“Our character became a much more professional manner,” Lazaro said.
“Yes. Very professional. I would say much more confidence for both of us,” Mayra said. “Like speaking in front of people is one of the things I hate doing, but now I realize I’ve been able to do it more often.”
The two eldest siblings in this Claxton family became Marines the same way they’ve done so many things in life - together. Mayra and Lazaro were assigned to different units during boot camp, so most of the time they weren’t allowed to speak to each other. They say that didn’t prevent them from supporting each other.
“Since we know each other so well, we would just look at each other and stare at each other and ask ‘Are you good?’ and just ask each other questions without having to talk,” Mayra said. “We would also do hand gestures.”
Church service was the only time they could spend together. The brother and sister would sing hymns together, but also catch up on family news.
“We would both get different letters from our mom,” Mayra explained. “So I would say, ‘Hey, did you get this letter?’ And he would say, ‘No. I didn’t know about that.’ So I would say, ‘Alright, well guess what? Let me tell you the story of what happened.’”
They’ve also been sending letters to give their little brother Joshua a step up when he arrives on Parris Island. He’s still taking part in the delayed entry program in Claxton.
“Not tell him a lot of details, because we want him to have his experience,” Mayra said. “Just tell him, ‘You’ll be fine. It’s not as bad as we thought it was going to be and that type of stuff.”
Ultimately, both said it’s an experience they feel grateful for from start to finish.
“You always feel mentally prepared to do anything,” Lazaro said. “And I would say it’s the best feeling to finish all of this and being able to say that we went through boot camp.”
“Together,” Mayra added.
“Together and as a brother and sister.”