Just four months ago, Ivar Lobaton was walking through the halls of Springdale High, getting ready to graduate. Today, he returns in uniform after enduring 13 weeks of boot camp with the Marines.
Lobaton, who used to write for the Bulldog Herald, remembers high school as if it was a long time ago. Coming back to SHS, he says he sees a lot of himself within the students.
“I think of how I was just 4 months ago. I was a senior in high school and now I have a plan,” says Lobaton. “I see all these people who look lost and confused.”
Making the decision to join the Marines wasn’t a difficult one for Lobaton. His older brother, who is also in the same branch, encouraged him to join.
“He told me, ‘go big or go home!’” says Lobaton.
He also wanted to join the Marines because it would be a direct way in making a difference. Ivar says he has always worked hard in life and being part of any special forces was no exception.
The Marines are known for being the most difficult branch to get into as well as being the most strict out of the many divisions. Besides the physical excellence expected from any marine, the most challenging part is yet to come for Ivar.
“I can’t say much yet,” says Lobaton, “I just graduated boot camp. I passed the easiest part.” Despite this uncertainty, Lobaton thinks the hardest part will be having little communication with his family.
“You always want to talk to your mom, and you don’t get to do that everyday,” said Lobaton. If stationed in another country, he would also have to learn to live in a whole new culture and possibly, another language.
“I’m just spending the most time I can with my mom and sister,” says Lobaton. As of now, Ivar is working with recruitment at various schools. His advice to the senior class is simple.
“If you don’t have a plan by… yesterday you should consider the military!” said Lobaton. He says that even if the special services isn’t your forte you should still commit to something and follow through.
“Take pride in what you do,” says Lobaton, “whatever it is.”
Read Ivar’s best work on the Bulldog Herald HERE.