ECHO FIELD, TINIAN, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands -- Lance Cpl. Edward Manibusan, Jr., from Koblerville, Saipan, grew up on a small island with small towns, few city lights and a lot of ocean. He enjoyed growing up on the peaceful paradise, but he always wanted more.
“Ever since middle school it has been a dream to go out and see the world,” said Manibusan, a field wireman with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “I always wanted to see the world and where I am from it is not really common for folks to travel.”
Manibusan joined the Marine Corps after graduating high school, which opened a door for him to travel to the United States, Japan and during Exercise Forager Fury III, a chance to go to Tinian, an island near his home.
"The options back home were to go to school or get a job on the island, but I was tired of staying at home. I wanted something different,” said Manibusan. “Joining the Marine Corps opened that door for me.”
Though the Marine Corps provided the opportunity for Manibusan to see the world, it did not initially make his parents happy.
“We fought the idea of him joining the Marine Corps at first,” said Edward B. Manibusan, Manibusan, Jr.’s father. “We sat down and talked to him about college, then he convinced us that joining the military is what he really wanted, and since then we have fully supported his decision and are extremely proud of him.”
When he left Saipan to join the military it was a real culture shock, according to Manibusan. But joining the Marine Corps was not too different from home.
“Being in the Marine Corps is not really different from how I grew up,” said Manibusan. “In our culture we have all these traditions and we learn to respect our elders, sort of like how we are supposed to listen to our superiors and do what we are told.”
Though it was similar to his childhood, the Marine Corps changed him, according to Manibusan’s father, from Koblerville, Saipan.
“He was always a good kid, but since joining the Marine Corps he acts more mature and responsible now,” said Manibusan’s father.
His friends notice his maturity as well and think it helps him as a Marine as well, according to Cpl. Aaron A. Uribe, a radio operator with MWSS-171.
“He’s hardworking, very respectful and if anything needs to be done, he is the main person I go to,” said Uribe, from Sacramento, California. “He is also a good friend, someone you could always talk to and he is a real family person.”
With his family proud of his decision and the family he has made in the Marine Corps, if he was offered the chance to go back and choose whether or not he would join, he would always make the same choice, according to Manibusan.
“Looking through the pictures I have taken while I have been in the Marine Corps, I have been to so many different places and different times with different people,” said Manibusan. “I get to do a lot of things, I get to meet a lot of people and I have been able to go where I never thought I would ever go.”