Local highschooler prepares to join the U.S. Marines

Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 9:51 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - While many highschoolers have yet to think about getting graduation gowns, Jonathon Garvin is already packing up his suitcase.

A train of cars drove by Fort Frye High School Saturday afternoon. Honks filled the air while Jonathon and his family waved.

The senior has decided to join the U.S. Marines. In fact, he already swore in this past August. Because he is leaving for boot camp in just nine days and has enough credits, he is graduating early so his family made sure to give him a proper send off.

Jonathon said that he’d been considering going to the marines for a long time but made the final decision recently.

His mom, Valarie Urban, said she’s more than proud.

“He was playing flag football this summer with the recruiter and he came home one day and was like ‘what about the marines?’ And I was like ‘maybe you try something like - let’s go to the reserves.’ And he just….he wants to do something that’s bigger than himself. You know, you try to raise your kids to follow their dreams and he’s doing a good one.”

Although the announcement caught Valarie off guard, she said it’s always been a given that Jonathon would spend his life helping others.

She said, “Jonathon’s always had a caregiver’s heart. Always, from the time he was little. He would give kids at school his extra milk, he would help kids learn math. He’s just always had a caregiver’s heart.”

Jonathon said that he was inspired by members of his family that joined the military but it seems one person stood out.

He said, “One of them would actually be my late passed grandpa. He gave me a lot of inspiration so I’m going to follow in his shoes.”

Jonathon hopes to carry on his legacy in the marines. And it’s not just his granddad he’s doing it for.

“This community is a good one and, you know, I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it for everyone who, you know, looks at me everyday and for the kids in elementary school and their kids, the kids of the future, the people who’ve already served their country, already gone. It’s not for me, it’s for them,” he said.

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