Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Each year, Americans celebrate the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic Americans in observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
The theme for this year’s observance is “Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and future of success.”
Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Coria, an administrative specialist at Cherry Point’s Installation Personnel Administration Center with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, is proud of his heritage and carries the values and traditions of home with him as a Marine.
Coria joined the Marine Corps Oct. 15, 2012, from his home town in Salinas, Calif.
“The main reason for enlisting was to simply get away from home,” said Coria, who is of Mexican descent on both sides of his family tree. “Where I lived wasn’t the best place and I needed to get out of that environment.”
According to Coria, the first time he ever thought about becoming a Marine was when recruiters came into his high school during his senior year.
“The Blues uniform was the first thing that caught my attention,” he said. “Everyone seemed to gather around the Marines and the way they talked seemed like something out of a movie. Everything they spoke was with confidence.”
After that moment, Coria decided to take charge of his life and made a decision to become the first Marine in his family.
“My parents are the biggest role models in my life,” he said. “They raised me very traditionally and my father always told me, ‘You have to work to get what you want because no one is going to do the work for you.’”
Nearly two years after joining the Corps, Coria now assists Marines on a daily basis.
“When they first told me exactly what I was going to be doing for the next four years, I was a bit worried,” he said. “If you would have asked me when I signed up, I would have never guessed that I would be working behind a desk in the Marine Corps. But if you’re going to do anything in life, why not strive to be the best?”
Coria was recently, accepted into a program where he will be able to experience a different side of the Marine Corps.
“I was accepted to join the Integrated Task Force,” he said. “It will give me an opportunity to get a feel of something else, and change my view of the Marine Corps.”
The ITF is a volunteer program for Marines, both male and female, to determine best practices for the integration of females into combat-arms military occupational specialties.
“I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of something so important," he said.
Coria is scheduled to begin training with the ITF in October.