I was born in Korea. Abandoned when I was a year old (or so they tell me). I was found in a telephone booth with scars on my ankles from what they presumed to be chains. I was taken to an orphanage where I stayed until I was about 2 and 1/2 years of age. I was on a high priority list because I was in critical need of parents who could take care of me. I was underfeed and dying slowly from starvation for lack of food within the orphanage.

Some time during December a good Christian couple adopted me. I was taken to the states where on Christmas Eve I was taken to the emergency room for fear that I was going to die from malnutrition. By the grace of God was I spared my life that night. I grew up Christian, going to church and responded to the message of the gospel when I was eight. I will admit though that I don't think I fully comprehended the message, but something inside me knew I had to know who Jesus was. I grew up with 3 other brothers besides myself, 2 of them were Mexican and 1 Black, I was Asian, I had 3 sisters also who were my adopted parents natural daughters and my adopted parents were French/Polish.

LOL I know sounds like a pretty diverse family, but I loved them. I started going to school, and thats when I sadly to say I started taken a dive for the worse. I grew up in a predominately white area and was picked on constantly for the way I looked. I became hatefull and resentful towards people. I could not understand how God could have created people to hate someone on the bases of color. My relationship with my family grew more distant as the days wore on.

At the age of 15 I had ran away from home 3 times and finally was almost arrested my last time for being a habitual offender. At the age of 16 I told my parents that I could no longer deal with living in their house, so I left again, but this time for good. I found out the hard way that living on your own was a little rougher then what most make it out to be. I worked and stayed in school so I could finish highschool. Living at friends houses and on the street made me even tougher towards the people and the world around me. I stopped going to church and I stopped praying to God, I felt that somewhere some how He had abandoned me along the way like so many others did. I felt betrayed by anyone I meet and the hate just grew deeper and deeper.

Finally I decided that my life was going nowhere fast, so I joined the Marine Corps in hopes that I would find some type of meaning for who I was and what I was suppose to do. At the age of 17 I joined into the United States Marine Corps, I finished bootcamp and during that time I had alot of time to rethink the past few years of my life and how I had ended up here. My thoughts brought me back to my parents and ultimately back to seeing them again in the length of 3 years. But I still blamed God for all that was in my life.

I started to party and drink heavily, woman and booze were the only things I thought I had to look forward. The next 3 years of my enlistment were but a blur of party after party. I was still the hate filled individual that drove my ever desire to the brink of insanity and I was so tired of being angry all the time, I finally wanted to end it all. I stopped caring and I just wanted to give up. But thank God again for sparing my life a second time.

I started to sober up and stopped partying as much, but my life was still mine (or so I thought) and I kept God as far from me as possible. Things were looking up and I had picked up Corporal, I was moving in the direction I wanted to go. I reenlisted after my first tour of 6 years and was going to go on recruiting duty, I knew I could do it. I had all the pride in the world for the Corps, it was of course the Corps that brought me from nothing to something, or so I thought.

One week from checking out of my command and picking up Sgt to go recruiting, my old self came back, another Marine senior in rank but just a boot in years decided he was going to mess with me. I of course took it as a personal threat and took the incident way too far. I was demoted and was put on 45/45 for my conduct. I couldn't believe it was happening, here I was an outstanding Marine on all accounts and I was cut just like that, in a instant.

My faith in the Corps dropped drastically with it. My mind whirled in a million directions, I felt like everything I had worked so hard for was just thrown away by some random chance freak incident. With my world shattered and my heart ripped in two, I broke down in tears, no one to turn to and no one to listen, I still remember that moment, tears streaming down my face and nothing to hold onto that would help me breath. But then, some where out of nowhere I heard the name Jesus Christ in my head, a flood of memories came rushing back from all the times I had prayed and all the times I knew He was with me. I dropped to my knees and asked Jesus for the first time to help me, I gave my life to him. I will never forget the joy at that moment that leaped in my body from head to toe. I could breath again, and it felt as if the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. Jesus Christ saved me then, He has saved me before, I just didn't realize it. That was nine months ago, and I still have Marines asking me how I could remain so happy and joyful in the situation I was in, I smile with all the joy in my heart and tell them about the greatest love of my life, Jesus Christ.

Luke Desmarais USMC

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