MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Her grandma was a Marine, her mother was a Marine and in 2009, LCpl. Richelle D. Kline continued the tradition.
While in boot camp, Kline carried a picture of her mother and grandmother in their service uniforms to remind her that she would succeed in earning the title of Marine.
When her drill instructor presented her the eagle, globe and anchor - signifying she was now a Marine, Kline said, she burst into tears.
Unfortunately, neither her mother nor grandmother could attend the graduation. Her mother had already passed away many years ago when she was still a child and her grandmother died while she was in boot camp.
I was able to talk to my grandma before I left for boot camp and she told me, ‘Good luck and I can’t wait to see you graduate,’” said Kline, sadly. “The photos were a source of motivation when things got hard. Having them let me know I could do it.”
Before the Corps, Kline, an administration specialist with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, grew up in the small town of Greeley, Colo., where many times her family didn’t have much money. “I remember as a kid my mom crying because we were poor. I remember me and my brother would slip pennies under her door so she wouldn’t cry,” said Kline.
While in high school she worked two jobs to save money for college because she said, she knew her family wouldn’t be able to pay for it. During her senior year she said she had two ambitions - to join the Marines and to enter an art school for painting. First on the check list was the Marine Corps.
“Even if I had the money to go to the art school I still would have joined the Marines,” said the 20 year-old Kline. “It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do.”
The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Marine is both loved and respected by her fellow junior enlisted and senior leadership.
“I trust her,” said, Cpl. Cisnerosmedina, an administrative clerk. “She’s hard working, independent and works on her weaknesses. She’s a listener, and she’s not judgmental.
“She has an immense amount of pride in being a Marine and I can only assume she gets it from her mother and grandmother,” said Master GySgt. Don R. Miller, the personnel administration chief for 2nd Marine Division. “Lance Cpl. Kline is a highly squared away Marine who has the honor of carrying on a family tradition of service to the Corps and the Country. It is an honor to serve with a third generation Marine and I am certain through her boundless potential that she will have a very successful career in the Corps.”
Although not sure yet on whether or not she will stay in the Corps, Kline says she is planning on using the Post 9/11 GI Bill for art school. When she has kids, Kline said she will pass on stories of her Marine Corps experiences that will hopefully lead her kids to follow in the Marine tradition.
“I plan on having a few kids and I want the Marine Corps to definitely be in the family, Kline said. “I’m not going to force it on them or anything, but it would be nice.”