Following the training of a young US Marine from Owasso

Monday, October 18th 2004, 10:02 am
By: News On 6

There are countless examples of Oklahomans who are serving our country. Some are career military men and women.

Others are just beginning their military service. With that in mind, the News on 6 has been following the progress of one young US Marine. News on 6 anchor Craig Day has an update on US Marine Dustin Hardison.

It's been nearly five months since we introduced you to Dusty. He had just graduated from high school and was about to leave for US Marine Corps boot camp. "This country gives so much to everyone, it's nice to give back."

Dusty is now back home in Owasso from Marine Corps boot camp. He says he's grown stronger as a person and in his commitment to our country. We sat down at his dining room table once again to talk. "I got asked I don't know how many times if I had grown and I said no I guess I just carry myself taller now."

Hardison says the isolation during the 13 weeks of boot camp helped build self-reliance. He says the challenges of boot camp were about 10% physical, 90% mental. "You'll spend a week in the field and then you'll have your crucible week which is a 54 hour field exercise. Pretty demanding, pretty tough, but at the end of it you come out feeling like a warrior."

In another week, Hardison will leave for three more weeks of combat training in California. He’ll go with a great sense of pride in the latest chapter of his military life. "This amazing sense of belonging knowing you are doing something greater than yourself. You are helping your country."

After the combat training, Hardison will get more training as a Marine Corps air traffic controller.