Photo Information

Gunnery Sgt. Joe Henderson, left, and David Flores, right, pose for a photograph inside the Marine recruiting substation Nov. 23. Flores, a Rhode Island resident, is enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program and is scheduled to ship to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., in May.

Photo by Sgt. Richard Blumenstein

Striving for change

9 Dec 2013 | Sgt. Richard Blumenstein 1st Marine Corps District

David Flores’ measure of wealth is values, which is exactly why the 24-year-old Rhode Island resident has decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.

Flores, who is scheduled to leave for recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., in May, said he sees service in the Marine Corps as a chance for him to provide a future for his family.

Flores said it is not because of the benefits or trade skills he will receive there. It is because of the numerous intangible qualities associated with all things Marine Corps.

“Everyone says you have to work hard for a better future,” Flores said. “But what is a better future? What is the point of working hard if you don’t have a good moral standing?”

The last six years for Flores have been nothing short of eventful. He has conducted missionary work in remote areas of Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

“Its unfortunate kids not having clothes to wear,” he said. “We brought them water, we brought them food, and we brought them clothes.”

He also got married and has a good job working as a route sales representative. But he wants more for his life.

“I make a good living,” he said. “I have good experience under my belt doing what I do, and they pay me well for

“It’s not about now, it’s about the future,” he added. “I know for sure the Marine Corps is going to bring me what I am looking for. I am confident, 100 percent. It makes me get up at 2 a.m. to go for a run before work. I start work every day at 3 a.m.”

Flores said he first called the recruiting station after talking extensively about it with his wife. He said they researched the values of each branch of the armed forces and what he found in the Marine Corps aligned most with his own personal values.

“I just called, I spoke to Sgt. Teruhisa Okada,” he said.

The conversation went well. According to Okada, a recruiter at Recruiting Substation Rhode Island, the two talked about the various missions Marines conduct – everything from combat to humanitarian aid.

“He has already been around the world and seen things,” Okada said. “He is the kind of guy who joins because he wants to make the world a better place.”

Flores attended a physical training session with the Marines a few days after that conversation. Since then he has joined the Delayed Entry Program, a program to help prepare people for the mental and physical rigors of Marine Corps boot camp.

“I went to the first workout and I could barely do two pull ups,” Flores said. “The Marines took the time to educate me physically. Little by little I have been gaining the strength and motivation I need.”

“He is one of my most motivated and dedicated Poolees,” Okada said. “He comes in the office often to work out, and talk about life in the Marines.”