Two Charlottesville High School students are celebrating major achievements on Sunday. They received their high school diplomas Saturday, but did so as United States Marines.
The new Marines, 17-year-old Buddy Hildebrand and 18-year-old Gawa Sihle doubled up on course work and took classes online to graduate early and attend boot camp at Parris Island.
"It feels really good, really good. I had to work really hard. It was not fun at some times, but for the most part, it was a good experience," said Hildebrand.
"It feels good. Feels like I'm doing something good," said Sihle.
The two young men graduated from boot camp on Friday in South Carolina and returned home to walk with their class at the Charlottesville High School graduation Saturday. On Sunday, family and friends applauded their achievements at a gathering at Lazy Parrot Backyard BBQ on Pantops.
The boys are looking forward to military combat training which they will start on Monday at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Even though the road has been challenging at times, both say the lessons in teamwork have been invaluable.
"If I get something right and somebody else gets something wrong - I got it wrong," said Hildebrand.
"I just think about all the other people, all the other Marines that went through the same thing - if they can do it , then I can do it as well," added Sihle
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story