Several female U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton shared their experiences and accomplishments in celebration of Women’s History Month on Monday.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Shannon Peters has been in the U.S. Marines almost 24 years. She is a communications chief, in charge of about 35 people, but said her primary job is working with computers.
Peters said she came from a single-family home and didn’t have the resources to go to college, so she joined the military for the education, travel benefits and to learn a little self-reliance.
“I love the camaraderie and being a part of something bigger than me,” Peters said. “I’m very proud to be a Marine.”
Cpl. Coraima Dignetti has served in the U.S. Marines for three and a half years, and is originally from Brooklyn, New York. She said her dream was originally to study pediatrics, but she joined the military in an effort to financially support her mother and sister, who are illegal immigrants.
Her sister also has cerebral palsy Down syndrome.
“I had a good life before joining the Marine Corps,” said Dignetti. “I was going to college, I had everything good. I was working in a pharmacy. But sometimes you realize that there’s more important things in life than just yourself. That's exactly what the Marines is.”
Cpl. Roshanda Pierre-Bresier has been in the U.S. Marines for two and a half years.
She told NBC 7 she was born third to single mother, out of a household of seven siblings. She joined the Marines as an escape, never thinking she would turn out to love it.
“My big thing is giving back," said Pierre-Bresier. “I love giving back, so any way I can help someone and I am able and capable to do so, I will do so. It’s the best part about the Marines.”
Sgt. Deborah Larios, a Marine for six years, is currently in school for criminal justice while active duty.
She said she joined the Marines after visiting a recruiter with her younger brother when he was trying to get into the military.
Larios said joining the Marines was empowering for her because not many women choose to do it, even though it is something anyone can do if they put their mind to it.
“It’s a proud feeling, but there is a lot of sacrifice involved,” said Larios, “but in the end I would choose to do this again and again.”
Regarding speaking for Women’s History Month, Larios said the month is not just about honoring females in the military, it's about celebrating every woman.