Sieara Washington

Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.

What led you to enlist?

Sieara Washington
I decided to join the Marine Corps for many reasons. One because I heard it was the hardest branch. I also joined because many people felt I wouldn't make it. The biggest reason was for my brother and sister. Everything I did at that time (now I have a son) was for them. I wanted to be able to help them and give them what they wanted because it was only my mom there that was raisin 3 kids by herself. I wanted to be that POSITIVE example for them to show don't let nobody stop you. Do what you wanted to do and make the best of it. The reason behind me joining on a more personal individualized way was i didn't know what I wanted to do in life. I had scholarships for academics for college but I didn't think that was the path I wanted to take. I also wanted my at that time (future children) to be proud of the path that their mommy chose to take. So with that I became one of the fewest the proudest Female Marines.

How did the relationships/friends you created while serving shape who you are today?

Sieara Washington
The friendships I created while serving are some of the most meaningful friendships I have this day. These friends that I have are more like family. I turn to them when I cant talk to anyone else. The experience and knowledge of what we all went through keeps me sane in some cases when I feel I have no one else to turn to. The comradery that we share is something I cant even really explain but I am very lucky to call some of these men and women my brother and sister.

What event(s) during your service changed or shaped your life?

Sieara Washington
I have had both good and bad experiences during my service that changed/ shaped my life. One is being able to see the different types of leaders. Being in the military you have people of different rank in charge of you. And these people have helped me become the leader I am today. I know exactly what I don't want to be and exactly what I want to be as a leader because of all the different examples. I also was taught in a terrible way in my eyes that not everyone will like you and you don't need to like them to get the mission done. With this I mean in one of my commands my whole "in shop" command was racists they hated the fact that black people were in the military. Regardless of all the games and misconduct that happened in the shop things still needed to be done and I didn't let the thoughts of others change how I looked at the Marine Corps as a whole. My Afghanistan deployment wasn't hard but as a junior Marine I was responsible for a lot of important things that could have affected lives of many people. In this whole deployment I learned to deal with stress, life, and other things while staying focused on what I needed to do. It made me believe in myself more.

What about your service to do you most remember?

Sieara Washington
Other then the long hours that i had to endure because my job was in communications (radio operator). I have have had the opportunity to create many memories from all the different places I had the privilege of going to.
One of the best is being able to go to Iwo Jima. I loved this experience not only because of the history that this island has in the Marine Corps but because not everyone had the opportunity to go. Especially during the celebration of the battle. I enjoyed being able to speak to other Marines at the time and the families of the military members that served during that time. I also was able to see the black beach of the island.

What about your service would you like civilians to know about?

Sieara Washington
I want civilians to know 2 major things that affect me and a lot of other service members. the first one being is what we are trained to do is our job. Everything thing that you see in the media isn't always true. A lot of men and female face death in the eyes in the most innocent situations that turn out not to be so innocent. Secondly I want them to know transitioning from the lifestyle of being in the military to civilian life is hard sometimes. There are some things other veterans will share that others wont everyone's experience is different and some may have things going on that they are not willing to share.

What about from your service are you most proud?

Sieara Washington
I am honestly most proud at the fact that I got out Honorably. I served 4 years active duty as a female in the United States Marine Corps when so many people believed I wouldn't be able to make it. I mean there were some tough times while I served from day to day stress, being away from my little brother and sister, to being deployed to Afghanistan. But I made it and it and the experience and choice of serving is something I will never regret.

What message would you most like your loved ones to hear from you?

What advice would you give to 20-year-old you?

Who have been your mentors?

What are the most vivid memories you have of your parents?

Friends & family: What would you like Sieara to know?

Friends & family: What's your favorite picture with Sieara?