After he spent his childhood bouncing from one foster home to the next, one Company D Marine found his permanent home in the Marine Corps.
Private James Flaurr, 19, a Terre Haute, Ind., native, lived a life of instability and neglect from the age of three. He and his siblings were taken away from their parents by his aunt, due to his parents� abusive nature.
Unfortunately, his new home wasn�t much better than the last. After living with his aunt and uncle for three years, a social worker witnessed his aunt strike Flaurr�s brother. They were quickly taken out of the household and put into foster care, where he spent the next seven years in and out of foster homes.
�Living as a foster child was a very lonely life,� said Flaurr. �It was very difficult having to constantly move (to different) homes. I would make friends and then have to leave them within months.�
When Flaurr was 13 years old, he and his sister were adopted into a loving family, but his brother remained in foster care.
�I wasn�t really upset that my brother was separated from us,� he said. �I knew that he was going to a good home and we could still stay in contact. I was just happy to finally have parents who genuinely cared about me.�
His sister married and moved away soon after they were adopted. Flaurr decided to move in with her and her husband after living with his adoptive parents for five years. He admired his brother-in-law who was an assaultman in the Marine Corps and a volunteer fire fighter.
�I wanted to be just like him,� said Flaurr. �He was confident and very physically fit�all of the things I wanted to be.�
While attending the Terre Haute Air Show with his friends, he was approached by a Marine recruiter who spoke to him about serving his country.
�I knew that he looked up to me as a role model, so I always spoke to him about my love for country and the Marine Corps,� said Cpl. Bobby Phillips, Flaurr�s brother-in-law. �When he told me he wanted to enlist, I was very excited for him, and I knew he would succeed.�
Flaurr exercised with his brother-in-law and listened intently to his boot camp advice as he waited to leave for recruit training.
�Flaurr was initially very quiet and reserved when he arrived on the depot,� said Sgt. Alberto Moreno, drill instructor, Platoon 1073, Company D. �He was easily intimidated by the drill instructors and lacked confidence.�
Flaurr said the most difficult aspect of recruit training was the stress. He said that he has grown as a person and believes that boot camp has given him the confidence he was looking for.
He also said that the Crucible, the defining moment in boot camp when recruits transition into Marines, taught him the importance of teamwork. His platoon quickly found out that they could accomplish tasks efficiently if they worked together and not as individuals.
�He has undergone an extreme transformation while in recruit training,� said Moreno. �He has developed leadership skills, self confidence and doesn�t have any problems asking the drill instructors questions.�
Flaurr said that he has made lasting friendships here and feels like he has found family in the Marine Corps.
Following graduation, he will return home for 10 days of leave and then continue his training at the School of Infantry, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Flaurr enlisted in the motor vehicle operator occupation, but as he progresses in his career he hopes to move into the Marine Corps Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting occupation.
�I am a firefighter in our hometown, and got Flaurr interested in firefighting,� said Phillips. �With the Crash Fire Rescue occupation he can incorporate his two career aspirations, Marine Corps and firefighting,� said Phillips.