For the last two years the community has become well acquainted with U.S. Marine recruiter Staff Sergeant Joshua Rehm, not only for his ability to find the best of our youth looking to serve their country as U.S. Marines, but for his personal volunteer service to the Peninsula through programs such as the annual Toys for Tots campaign that has grown greatly under his watch. Staff Sgt. Rehm and his family now move on to their next duty station in Hawaii as a member of the Marine helicopter squadron. “I’m excited to be a career Marine and moving on to my text duty, but I’ll miss the Peninsula and the friends I’ve made while serving here and finding those young people who have what it takes to become a Marine and a Hometown Hero,” he told the Dispatch in an interview.
Last week Staff Sgt. Rehm welcomed his final Hometown Hero back from basic training; Pvt. Shannon McConnell, an Alaskan native who graduated from River City Academy and previously worked for the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in Kenai. “My grandfather served 20 years in the military, we were very close and at his funeral there was an all-female honor guard that honored him for his service and it inspired me because one day I would like to honor someone for their service the way they honored him and to one day receive such honor myself. I chose the Marine Corp because it offered the highest honor and most pride of any branch of the service,” said Pvt. McConnell. “When I went to boot camp I knew it was going to be challenging and we hiked the same distances with the same weight packs as our male counterparts there was no special consideration because I was a woman and yes it was a challenge but the pride comes after you feel like giving up but persevere, meet the challenge and complete it. I did it and now I look forward to traveling the world seeing and learning new things while serving my country honoring my family, friends and loved ones,” added Pvt. McConnell now one of “The few. The Proud,” a United States Marine.
New Marine Recruiter Sgt. Jonathon Denton says he is looking forward to taking over for Staff Sgt. Rehm and invites folks to stop by the office in the Peninsula Center Mall and get acquainted, “We look for those who have what it takes to be a Marine and those who will be a benefit to the Corp. we’re not just looking for those who don’t know what they want after high school but those who will benefit the Marine Corp and keep our traditions going forward,” said Sgt. Denton.