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Cara Boulanger: A newlywed Marine

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Cara Boulanger is a Marine and a newlywed. 
The Elizabethton native and Unaka High School graduate enlisted in early 2019.
“I enlisted because I wanted to make something of myself,” she said. “I wanted to serve my country while still working a job that I knew I would enjoy.”
Boulanger went to boot camp on March 18, 2019.
“Training was definitely mentally and physically draining and it can take a lot out of you. But in the end, it is all worth it,” she explained. 
Marines are described as fighting to win and answering the nation’s call on their official website. 
“Marines are trained to improvise, adapt, and overcome any obstacle in whatever situation they are needed,” the website states. “They have the willingness to engage and the determination to defeat the enemy until victory is seized.”
According to their website, Marines have served this country for over 200 years. 
“As America’s expeditionary force in readiness since 1775, the U.S. Marines are forward deployed to win our Nation’s battles swiftly and aggressively in times of crisis,” their mission statement reads. ”We fight on land, sea, and air, as well as provide forces and detachments to naval ships and ground operations.”
Boulanger became a Marine and graduated on June 14, 2019. 
“I have never been more proud of myself,” she said. 
“Going to my MOS school and learning my job was great. I enjoyed learning about my job and getting experience in my field.”
While missing her during her time away, Boulanger said her family supported her decision to enlist.
“My family was very supportive when I told them that I was joining,” she said. “They were definitely sad to see me go, but continue to be supportive all throughout my training.
“They are beyond proud of me and my accomplishments, which makes me happy that I’m able to do that. Their support is what makes the distance a little less hard.”
In addition to earning the title of Marine, she also earned the title of a bride as she traded in her uniform for a wedding gown when she was married this spring. 
Boulanger opened up about married life and explained what they share in common. 
“We are both in the military and are stationed together,” she explained. “Even though we sometimes have different schedules or one of us is gone in the field or in training, we still manage to set time aside for us.”
She said she met her husband, Nick when she was a senior in high school. They then began dating during her first year of college. 
Boulanger, who is 21 years old, is now stationed in North Carolina and is a Lance Corporal, 0431 (embarkation specialist).
“Lance Corporal is an E-3 and is still a junior Marine,” she described. “A Lance Corporal just basically does whatever work they’re able to that’s handed down from their NCOs or Chain of Command.”
Boulanger is optimistic about the future her job holds for her. 
“My favorite part of my job is all the opportunities it has given me,” she said. ”I’ve gotten to do a little traveling, I’ve met some wonderful people, and I get to do a job that I love. “
“I hope that while being in the Marines I will continue to grow and succeed at my job. I can’t wait to travel more and progress in my job. Every day I am offered a new learning experience.”
This newlywed Marine has some advice for anyone thinking of enlisting.
“I would tell anyone wanting to enlist to make sure they are ready,” she said. “It’s a big commitment, but it is all worth it.”
Boulanger looks at her enlistment decision with pride. 
“Once you earn the title of Marine after you finish the crucible there is no other feeling like that,” she said.