Photo courtesy of Shayna Martinez. Milo Camaddo at his boot camp graduation of the Marine Corps.
BY CHLOE STRICKLAND
Enlisting into the military is not for everyone, but for Landen Martinez, 23, Mikayla Edlund, 20, Milo Camaddo, 20 and Madison Roberts, 18, it seems to run in the family. These four cousins have all enlisted into the United States military.
The first of the four to enlist was Martinez, who went through Military Entrance Processing Station or MEPS, he was 17-years-old and officially joined the Navy at 18.
“I joined because of the movie Lone Survivor, and the story of the man, Marcus Lutrell, himself,” said Martinez, “Now I would say I’m here for the money, the job and the benefits to come after I get out.”
Martinez, whose wife is also serving in the Navy, says the hardest part has been finding time for his relationship, “There was a time where I hadn’t seen my wife for a year and a half. It’s hard; all we can do is cherish our time together before we go onto our next assignments.”
Edlund was next to enlist at 19-years old, “I guess I just don’t see myself working a regular job.” Edlund did three semesters at College of the Desert before joining the Army. “It was always the plan. I knew eventually I was gonna join, it was just a matter of time and at that time I was taking classes I didn’t have any interest in.”
Camaddo joined the Marine Corps shortly after Edlund at 19- years old.
Roberts enlisted in the Navy fresh out of high school at 18 and said she looked to her older cousins for advice, “Mikayla helped me figure out what branch I wanted to go into because I was between the Army and the Navy. Milo gave me incite on the physical testing.”
Serving in the U.S. Military in this family does not begin with these four. Many other family members served in the military, including their great uncles Charles Armondo and Ceasar Nava. They served in the Marine Corps and Army during the Korean War. A third-cousin Rudy Saucedo also served as a medic during the Korean War.
Roberts, Comaddo, Edlund and Martinez were all influenced by their family’s patriotism in some way or another, “Having family members who had prior service had a huge impact on me joining,” said Edlund, “especially the ones who served in World War II and Vietnam. My nana always told me stories about them, I guess it just stuck with me.”
Comaddo mentioned he chose the Marine Corps because his great-uncle served at his age.
Roberts’ grandfather also served in the Navy and it gave her the drive to enlist, “Seeing what he did and where he went motivated me; it feels like I’m making him proud.”
“Having other family members in the military makes me very happy,” said Edlund, “although some of us are in different branches, I feel like we’re one team and that makes me proud! Especially because of our family history of prior service.”