Andrew Price (’11) doesn’t fear death, he doesn’t mind giving up his freedom for a greater cause, and he has wanted to learn how to kill in defense of his country since he was young. That is why Price has signed the next eight years of his life away to the United States Marine Corps.
In Price’s senior year, while most of his friends were worrying about college applications, he was preparing himself to serve his country. Unlike most ASL families, Price descends from a military tradition. His father is a career air force officer, and his uncles and grandparents have all served. “I felt like I was in a privileged position and had the obligation to serve in some way, and none of my family has been in the Marines,” Price said.
Internships and summer school hold no appeal for Price. “I can’t see myself in front of a desk all day,” Price said.
Instead, he prefers to challenge himself both physically and mentally to his breaking point. He encountered this challenge and more at Officer Candidate School (OCS) every day for six weeks during the summer of 2012.
The challenges placed in front of Price were constant and strenuous. “They wear you down, every day is different, and every day is hard,” Price said. Physically, nothing was harder than the stamina course: consisting of the obstacle course, then a mile-and-a-half run through water, mud, and other obstacles, all while in combat boots and carrying a rifle and webbing. Three times Price ran this course, once through a lightning storm.
Mentally, constant memorization and the pressures of leadership were always present, and always weighing on the mind. Price said, “I was getting only four hours of sleep a night. The human body can do whatever it wants, eight hours [of sleep] is a myth,” Price said.
When Price graduates college he will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He will undergo further training to determine how he will serve. Price wants to serve in the infantry. “They are the guys who go down and kill the enemy; it’s very hard but I will try [to become an infantry officer],” Price said. If he cannot be in the infantry, he hopes to serve in the artillery.
In the past 11 years, 2,114 American service personnel have lost their lives in Afghanistan alone. This does not concern Price. “I’m not afraid of dying, you can die as a Marine serving your country, or you can die falling off your couch. You’re going to die,” Price said.
Instead of fearing death, Price is afraid of failing the men under his command. “I’m afraid I couldn’t do it. I will be in charge, if we fail their lives are in my hands,” he said.
Supporting Price through this challenging time are his family and friends. Price said, “My family is very proud of me, and my friends here in Texas have all supported me throughout the process. I mean, it’s Texas. They love the military.”