MCHS graduates to enlist with U.S. Marine Corps following graduation

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From left to right, Taylor Fredrickson, Devon Enochs and Paul Collins are shown during the annual Hometown Heroes community picnic May 15 at Craig City Park. The trio will join the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduation. Enochs and Collins will ship off June 21 to San Diego for boot camp while Fredrickson will attend boot camp in October, also in San Diego.

For as long as Devon Enochs can remember, there has been one thing he has seen himself doing.

Shortly after graduating Moffat County High School, Enochs, 18, will get his wish when he enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“My great grandpa was a Marine,” he said. “He served in World War II in Iwo Jima, and told me stories when I was 12.

“But, I’ve wanted to be a Marine since I was 4 years old.”

When Enochs leaves June 21 from Craig to San Diego for boot camp, he will not be alone.

Fellow seniors Paul Collins and Taylor Fredrickson are slated to enlist, too.

Collins said his dream of becoming a Marine has grown over time.

“What got me to want to join is boot camp,” he said. “It’s become more than just that. It’s now mainly to get to wake up every day and say I’m a Marine.

“I feel like it’s one of our duties to be able to serve our country, and we get to be a part of a brotherhood.”

Fredrickson said the Marines are alone in their commitment, which made it easier to pick which branch to enlist in.

“It’s the best — the honor, the courage and the commitment,” he said. “The pride Marines have is unrivaled.

“The pride of having the name Marine is better than any money they can give you.”

Like Collins and Fredrickson, Enochs said the bond that Marines share is unique.

“It’s the brotherhood,” he said. “You wake up, and know you’re a Marine — the few, the proud — the first ones in, the last ones out.

“It’s the best way possible to serve my country.”

Being a Marine “means everything” to Enochs, he said.

“It’s exciting knowing you’ll go down in history as one of the few who did everything to keep our country free,” he said.

As graduation neared, Enochs said he has become less nervous.

“I’m not as nervous as I was before,” he said. “It’s just a month away, and every day I wake up and count down the days.

“I get an adrenaline rush every time I think about it.”

Fredrickson, who will go to boot camp Oct. 18, said he still has a sizable gap between graduation and the next step in his career.

“Its seems like a long ways away, but I know it’ll sneak up on me,” Fredrickson said. “My nerves are less and less as I go along, but I know when I’m on the plane to San Diego it will hit me hard.”

Collins said more than anything, he is ready for the days to go by.

“The nerves get to you, but it’s more exciting than anything,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to being able to call myself a Marine.”

In the weeks leading up to boot camp, Collins said he would make the most of his time off.

“You try to take every advantage that you have of this time,” he said. “After boot camp, you don’t have too much of a life.”

Knowing that time between him and his family is limited, Fredrickson said he plans to make the most of his time in Craig.

“It puts everything in perspective,” he said. “Your family, what you normally do, because you’re not going to have a lot of chances to see them in the next few years.”

Fredrickson said he has already experienced one of the upsides of being a Marine around Craig.

“I’m not a Marine yet, but I still get respect,” he said. “People come up and thank us.”

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