MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO – Newly minted Marines, lined in nice neat rows, stand at attention. They are men now, having passed the most difficult entry level training of any service. Having shed their boyish demeanors, they stand with a sense of pride and purpose. Among the dozens of rows of Marines, one stands a bit taller than the rest.
Pvt. Rudy Arietta, a Marine graduate with Platoon 3066, Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, feels a sense of pride during his graduation. Somewhere in the crowd in front of him, watching, sits his father, a battle-hardened veteran of the Corps with nearly 30- years of service under his belt.
“It’s such a great feeling to have finally finished and joined my dad’s brotherhood,” said Rudy, a San Diego native.
On a bus heading for the depot straight out of high school, Rudy said he was very proud to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“Before he was just my dad, but now that I’m a Marine, I have more respect for him,” said Rudy. “I understand what he’s gone through and some of the things he’s done. I’m a part of this brotherhood and to me that brings us even closer together.”
Now that he has completed recruit training, Rudy will spend his leave with his father, Sgt. Maj. Rudolfo Arietta, who has returned home on a rest and recuperation trip during a tour in Afghanistan. Rudolfo, the Sgt. Maj. for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), is currently deployed with the unit in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. He timed his trip home so he could see his son graduate and be able to call him Marine.
“I deployed knowing he would graduate,” said Rudolfo. “I was going to try my hardest to come here and see him graduate. I’m very proud of my son for what’s he decided to do with his life and what the future holds for him.”
Walking off the parade deck next to each other, the father and son will spend the next week and a half with each other before Rudolfo returns to Afghanistan. Rudy will then head to Marine Combat Training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Upon completion of MCT he will report to Marine Detachment Fort George G. Meade, Md., to receive training to become a combat videographer.