Nicole Corbin

Interview and photos by Su Phelps | Written by Megan Way
Nicole Corbin, also known as USMC Corporal Corbin, a year after she graduated Bonanza high school, joined the Marines. After three years in the Marines she’s now 21 years old. Nicole and her family tells us about her life as a young Marine. Nicole is a granddaughter of Joe Corbin, an Army veteran. He stationed in Verdun, France in 1957 for two years.
Su: So when you graduated from high school you joined?
Nicole: I waited a year to join, I was going to PT with the recruiters; and slowly joined over the period of a year.
Su: That’s very very unusual. For a young girl to graduate from high school and decide to be a Marine is a tough tough decision you make,
Joe (Grandpa): It wasn’t that tough
Su: Was it helped by grandpa a little bit?
Joe (Grandpa): No I had nothing to do with it, she did it all by herself.
Su: But how did the recruiter talk to you, you look so fragile and yet you are Oo-rah!
Nicole: I was always athletic so I kinda just transferred over to it because they are very athletic and it was something different to do. Something to challenge myself with.
Su: So tell me how you like the Marines, the three years you were in, tell me your experience about it.
Nicole: It’s been a challenge definitely waking up early every morning. I’m not a morning person, or a night person. I’m like a lunch-time person. It’s been fun, it’s given me a different view on the world. It’s been physically challenging. I just listened to what I was told. All you have to do is listen to what you’re told and you won’t get in trouble.
Su: So tell me, how did you adjust to the regiment?
Nicole: Well we have field days which is pretty fun. You can’t have a speck of dust in your room. You have to clean your windows, your fridge, behind the fridge, ontop of the fridge, ontop of the cabinets, in the bathroom, there’s no such thing as hair.
Su: Did that make you nervous in the beginning?
Nicole: Yes, it did. Definitely made me nervous in the beginning. But now it’s like a lifestyle and I don’t like dirty things anymore. Normally I would just throw stuff around, now it has to have a specific place for it.
Su: When you decided to join the Marines. That moment of your decision, did you ever think about how to tell my family I wanna join Marines?
Nicole: No I kind of just told them I’m doing it.
Su: As it is, I think it was very very brave of you to make that decision and do you feel good right now about that decision you made?
Nicole: Yes I did. It was a definitely the change I wanted to see.
Su: When she told you ‘I wanted to join the Marines’ Nancy, as a grandma how did you respond to that?
Nancy (Grandma): Well I wasn’t that enthused because I was afraid of her going into war; so I wasn’t that excited about her going away, but that was her choice. I think she did good. I believe when she’s through she’s gonna go to school.
Nicole’s father also expressed the same thought. Su: When she decided to go into the Marines did she talk to you first?
Gregory (Father): I don’t know if she talked to me first but yeah she told me she was going into the Marines, yeah I was happy about it. My only fear was her getting deployed somewhere violent, but other than that I thought it was great.
Su: You feel proud of her?
Gregory (Father): Absolutely, couldn’t be any more proud.
Su: But do you worry about her sometimes?
Gregory (Father): Yeah, every parent worries about their children, of course they do, but I know she’s in good hands in the Marines.
Su: Did you see a difference of your daughter? Before the Marines and now?
Gregory (Father): Yes, you wanna know the biggest difference? She was a slob before and now she’s not!
Su: Haha, Oh wow!
Gregory (Father): It’s true though! They taught her how to make her bed. When you get out you’re still gonna make your bed right? Bounce the quarter off of it?
Nicole: I’m probably still gonna sleep on top of the covers.
After she finishes the rest of her service, Nicole plans to use her GI bill to continue her education and become an EMT.
Su: Nicole Corbin I thank you for your service.