This blog post is part of series highlight winning entries from our Hewlett-Packard Laptop Giveaway. During the Giveaway, our scholarship recipients shared the importance of growing up in a Marine household and how their upbringing has positively impacted them as leaders. Today we’re proud to feature a post written by Isaiah Leiva, a junior at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill from Richlands, North Carolina.
The passion and enthusiasm I have for the military, more specifically the United States Marine Corps, is a direct result of growing up in a Marine household. My father, Sergeant Major Luis M. Leiva, joined the Marine Corps in 1991, four years before I was born. I am blessed to have a family that has demonstrated the values, principles and beliefs that align with the Marines Corps.
As a Marine child, my parents have taught me about Honor, Courage and Commitment. They taught me these are not three separate values, but rather three interdependent forces. They taught me what it means to be an honorable person, to hold true to who I am and the principles in which I believe regardless if someone is watching or not. It takes moral courage to look within and commit to being that honorable person, especially during times of tribulation; this intestinal fortitude is not the absence of fear, but standing strong and persevering in the face of adversity.
My parents have always exhibited a selfless devotion to duty. My father has deployed three times to include an unaccompanied tour to Korea for 14 months during my junior and senior years of high school so that I could graduate from the high school at which I started. Events such as these have allowed me to understand that leaders sometimes must sacrifice their own needs, wants, and aspirations for those they serve. All of these things have helped influence me by encouraging me to join the Navy ROTC program at UNC Chapel Hill. I have been a part of this program for two years, and I am grateful to say, Lord willing, in two more years I will become an officer in the United States Marine Corps.
I would not be the person I am today and I would not have accomplished nearly as much as I have to this day if it were not for the Marine Corps core values instilled within me by my amazing family.