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Scholarship awarded to the son of a retired Marine

Scholarship awarded to the son of a retired Marine

Story by Keith Hayes on 08/22/2019

The son of a Chief Warrant Officer 3 since retired from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California, was awarded a scholarship by the Defense Commissary Agency, August 13.

Gabriel Maynes, 17, the son of Jose Maynes, U.S. Marine Corps retired; and Rozalyn Maynes, childcare specialist, Child Development Center; received the Scholarship for Military Children sponsored by the DECA and The Fisher House Foundation at a ceremony at the MCLBB Commissary.

The Fisher House Foundation operates a series of Comfort Houses located near military medical facilities that offers a “home away from home” for the families of hospital patients in crisis.

Jodi Dawn Ballestracci, Barstow Commissary grocery manager, told the gathered crowd that the competitive nature of the scholarship awarding required the applicants to write an essay citing two examples of how being a child of a military service member has influenced their education goals.

Gabriel said he described in his essay how his Marine Corps father was a driving force for setting the future of his educational aspirations. The following are excerpts from his scholarship winning essay:

“My dad has always wanted me to be greater than him, he wants to see me grow up to be a better man than him. After this revelation, I realized where my life is leading to – college. From that point on, I strived to be a better student, athlete, and person.”

“Being a child of a military service member has taught me many things, but the most important of them is the motivation to be greater, to achieve higher than thought possible.”

Gabriel said he’ll be attending Barstow Community College to fulfill his general education courses, “and then hopefully I will transfer to University of California San Diego where I want to major in engineering,” he explained.

This is not Gabriel’s first scholarship. “I’ve also won a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and some other scholarships when I was in high school,” he said.

“The commissary system has long supported promotions which focus on education,” Ballestracci said. “The Scholarships for Military Children compliments many worthwhile scholarships awarded through installation activities, organizations affiliated with the military community or funded by local vendors, and will help ease the burden of educating our children today.”

DECA in conjunction with The Fisher House Foundation yearly awards 500 $2,000 scholarships to family members of commissary patrons every year across the globe based on information from The Fisher House Foundation website at:

“The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency worldwide.”

Attending the awarding ceremony was Sgt. Major Sergio MartinezRuiz, base sergeant major, MCLBB, who informed the audience that this scholarship cannot repay the sacrifices made by service members but it is a small way to recognize those whom have spent days, weeks and months away from home while their families keep things going.

“DECA and The Fisher House Foundation have awarded 9, 412 scholarship to the sons and daughters of deserving commissary patrons over the years,” he said. “When you put it in perspective, 9,000 scholarships are not a lot when compared to the military population, so you should feel privileged and honored that you received this scholarship. It says a lot about you and your performance.”

“I knew Gabriel was exceptional ever since he was at the Child Development Center in Hawaii. He just loves to learn, he wants to learn and he has been doing that his entire life,” Rozalyn Maynes said. “I am super proud of him. There were quite a few applicants so winning this scholarship is quite an achievement.”

“He sets the bar for the other children in our house,” Jose Maynes said. “He’s doing really well and we’re extremely proud of him.”

“I hope this is just one step forward into his future and what he does with his life,” Maynes concluded.

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