Garden City, NY --
“I’ve seen so much change in my sons since they joined the Marine Corps,” said Dana, a Murphysboro, Illinois, native. “They both really grew up in the Marine Corps.”
Sgt. Joseph Ritcheson, an information systems management technician with U.S. Central Command, was the first of the twins to join the Marine Corps. He joined after graduating high school and it was his childhood dream to become a Marine.
“Joey (Joseph) always said from early on that he wanted to be a Marine,” said Dana. “Jamie (James) did not vocalize that opinion until much later. I distinctly remember when the recruiter visited Joey. Jamie didn’t even want to be in the room.”
Cpl. James Ritcheson, an administrative specialist with 1st Marine Corps District, joined the Marine Corps at the age of 23 after attending college.
“My brother played a big part in my decision to join the Marine Corps,” said James. “In 2011, when I decided to join he had already purchased a brand new house in Florida, a new car, and was doing something with his life.”
After joining the Corps, the identical twins would share more than a similar visage. They now share a commitment, a legacy, and a purpose.
“I was glad that he decided to join the Corps I knew it would be good for him,” said Sgt. Ritcheson. “You would be surprised how small the Marine Corps is when you have someone who looks exactly like you.”
Like the Ritcheson brothers, many people choose to join the Marine Corps for the tangible and intangible benefits that it provides such as leadership, character development and much more.
“I’ve been in about three years now,” said James. “I’m definitely a better person now. I look back at my friends who stayed home and they’re still doing what they were doing three years ago.”
Dana experienced the nervousness of sending two of her children off to become Marines and now she feels nothing but pride.
“I’m just really proud because they’re doing something that’s important,” said Dana. “They are doing something that they enjoy and it has been good for both of them.”