MARINE AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, California -- People come from different climes and places, from around the world, to join the ranks of the Unites States Marine Corps. For one Marine in particular, earning the title meant the biggest opportunity of his life.
Being born in Colon, Panama, Cpl. Osmar S. Gorish, a section chief for Battery A, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, couldn't imagine that one day he would be in charge of a $2 million piece of equipment for the United States Marine Corps.
We used to play soccer in the streets barefoot and our toys consisted of bike tire rims being pushed by clothes hangers, Gorish said.
"We made a makeshift foosball out of a shoe box, clip hangers and a shaved down rock," Gorish said.
When Gorish's mother married his stepfather, he was given the opportunity to come to the United Sates and become a naturalized citizen. He and his family moved to Dallas where Gorish finished high school.
During a job fair at his high school, Gorish noticed a man in blue with a big blue banner reading "MARINES" and quickly approached. He explained that he did not speak English very well and told the recruiter his story.
"The Marine recruiter was not only the first to call me back, but the only one that showed interest of all the recruiters I talked to," Gorish said.
Gorish decided to take the opportunity and left for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on Sept. 5, 2011, with an open contract. He learned he was to become a field artillery canoneer and after completing Marine Combat Training was off to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Field Artillery School.
Gorish was then stationed aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., with 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, where he gained more hands-on experience with artillery. As his capabilities grew, Gorish moved between the different positions of operating the M777A2 155mm Medium Towed Howitzer.
Gorish was always a hard worker and always a team player, said Cpl. Jonathan V. Morales, an assistant gunner for Battery A.
With his ambition driving him, Gorish soon went to school to become a gun chief, which meant he would now be leading the Marines he had been working with for years.
"Gorish was very nervous his first field operation as chief," said Cpl. Jose S. Perez, a gunner for Battery A. "He kept asking the gun section how he was doing and was more like a team member with a leadership role."
After a year as a chief, Gorish has now become a great leader with a close team. He grew with his team since they were privates and has even deployed with his Marines, said Staff Sgt. Miguel A. Placido, the battery gunnery sergeant for the battery.
Gorish and his team have become so proficient in their field that not even the audience of Maj. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, could rattle their focus and precision during a live-fire mission.
The gun respects Gorish not only because he sweats with us but because he looks after his team, said Cpl. Michael A. Chavez, a field artillery canoneer with Battery A.
"His hard work and dedication to what he does has created a really tight knit gun," said Placido. "He leads his peers well."
With his enlistment coming to an end, Gorish is grateful for the opportunity the United States Marine Corps has given him. He plans to study computer science when he returns to Dallas.