MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
Many Marines belong to a long lineage of family members who served in the military, but in one family, four siblings started the tradition themselves.
Cpl. Juan Sanchez, a powerline mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, joined the Marine Corps in 2006, and within two years his three siblings followed the same path.
Cpl. Karla Ortiz, a maintenance administrative clerk with VMFA-314, was the first sibling to join later in 2006. Juan’s twin, Sgt. Jesus Sanchez, joined in 2007 and is currently stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The last brother to join was Lance Cpl. Jose Sanchez, who joined in late 2008 and is also stationed at MCB Camp Lejeune N.C.
Although they joined for different reasons at different times, they all have not only adapted to the change, but thrived in it.
“We’ve all taken different paths and had different experiences,” said Sanchez. “But the Marine Corps has been good to all of us.”
Even though they relate to each other through their Marine Corps ties, it has been hard for all four siblings to see each other on a consistent basis.
This past Christmas though, they had the opportunity to go back to their hometown of Houston for a long-awaited family reunion.
“It was the first time in four years that we saw each other because either someone was deployed overseas, in training or somewhere else,” said Sanchez. “It was a good feeling to see everyone together and how everybody progressed.”
Both Sanchez and Ortiz attribute their success in their lives and in the Corps to their parents, who are natives of Coahuila, Mexico. Their parents taught them strong values and encouraged them to be more than good samaritans throughout their childhood, which has helped them ascend in the ranks of the Corps.
Not only have the Marines progressed in their professional careers, all four siblings have married and are now proud parents. Sanchez says that his children already want to follow in his footsteps by joining the Corps.
“My kids talk about the Marine Corps all the time,” said Sanchez, who had two sons, five and a three. “My kids are already MCMAP [Marine Corps Marital Arts Program] trained so they are ready.”
Each of the siblings has gone in different directions in their Marine Corps careers. They are set apart by different duty stations and experiences, but will always be together both in blood and in the Corps. They hope this tradition will carry on and their sons and daughters will follow the first-generation Marines’ footsteps.