The latest youth from our community, who have stepped up to serve and protect the United States of America, are U.S. Marine PVC Stony Wall and U.S. Marine Pvt. Samantha Hall, high school graduates from Kenai Alternative school. According to recruiter Staff Sgt. Rehm, Hall is the first woman in five years to complete U.S. Marine basic training and return home to be honored by her community as a member of the very elite Corp. “There just haven’t been any other women who had what it takes,” said Rehm. “It was something I wanted to do. I wanted a challenge that was bigger than myself and not only to prove to others that I could do it, but to prove to myself that I could do it. Now that I’ve done it, it feels like I can do anything. It was a little scary, I got ill and had to stay longer than usual, but the challenge was worth it,” Hall told the Dispatch in an interview. Asked if she felt she was treated differently as a woman she replied, “No we were all treated equally as the males and had to do everything they did, but if we did something better than what a guy did they were a little embarrassed and that was a reward in itself,” she said.
PVC Stony Wall completed a four year tour of service with the U.S. Navy before signing up to become a Marine, “It was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything being a Marine is a once in lifetime opportunity and I was happy to do it.” Coming out of the Navy, Wall said he had several opportunities as a result of his service, “I had three job offers when I first came home from the Navy, one was a contracting job in Afghanistan that paid very well, another was to be a police officer in Anchorage or Kenai. I was a welder in the Navy so I had offers from the oil and gas industry for a high value job, but I chose to be a Marine because there is no greater honor than to be part of the Corp. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” he said. PVC Wall thinks he may make a career out of the service, “I’m not sure yet but we’ll see how this first five years go, but it’s the brotherhood that I respect the most, the brotherhood is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life and there is no experience on earth that you can compare to being a Marine. Money doesn’t even come close to the value of this experience and I would choose it every time over a high paying job. This community treats me like a hero and people thank me for my service every day.” Our Hometown Heroes are PVC Stony Wall and Pvt. Samantha Hall.