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Marine Celebrates His Hispanic Culture

By Marine Corps Cpl. Michael S. Lockett


Marines come from all over.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alvaro Morales, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is pictured aboard the USS Carter Hall, Aug. 13, 2013. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael S. Lockett

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Just ask Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alvaro Morales.

Hoping to find a better life, Morales and his father traveled to Miami from Chinandega, Nicaragua, in 1998.

Morales, assigned to Company K, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., teams with Marines from more than half a dozen countries.

Back in Nicaragua “there were barely any jobs — things were just bad,” Morales recalled. “Things were not good over there.”

After Morales arrived in Miami, he spent the next several years in the area.

“I literally went to six elementary schools and five middle schools,” he said. “I got to stay in one high school for four years. That was pretty exciting. It’s pretty difficult, moving around and meeting new people all the time. We just kept moving from better to better.”

After high school, Morales attended Miami-Dade College for a semester, studying criminal justice with the intention of joining the local police force. Life, however, had different plans, and financial troubles forced him to withdraw.

He joined the Marine Corps shortly afterward. “I needed a way to go to college,” Morales said. “From what I heard from friends that had already joined, it was a challenge. It was going to be tough. But I thought it would build strong character.

Morales was sent to school to train as an amphibious assault vehicle crewman.

“Everything we do training-wise, learning my own MOS [military occupational specialty], has been a challenge,” he said. “You have to know how to drive and how to fix anything in the [amphibious assault vehicle] in case something breaks.”

Currently, Morales is deployed with the 26th MEU’s AAV Platoon aboard the USS Carter Hall.

He said he still intends to become a police officer in Miami after completing his military service.

“I just thought it was a great job for the future. I never had any intention of doing something else,” Morales said of his dream of becoming a police officer.

And he misses Miami.

“I love it. It’s a paradise to me. You have clubs — the nightlife, the parties and the environment. The people are friendly,” Morales said. “There’re a lot of things to do there, and the food is amazing. You have a lot of different Latin food.”

He added, “To us Hispanics, yes, food is very important. Trying new types of food is amazing.”

Morales said he’s happy to answer his fellow Marines’ questions about Hispanic culture.

“I mean, I don’t think it’s important, but guys I’ve met here are always asking questions, like how different are Spanish countries,” he said.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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