Photo contributed

Former Watseka football player Justin Foschi stands with his Senior Drill Instructor; Staff Sergeant Ashong (left) and Staff Sergeant Noel Leverenz (right).

A Watseka graduate and former Watseka football player is currently an active member of the United States Marines Corps.

Justin Foschi, who’s family resides in Crescent City, is currently home after enduring an intense 13 week training program.

Foschi, 20, remembers playing on the offensive and defensive line has fond memories of playing for the Warriors his senior year.

“Coach Hilgendorf especially made sure we banded together as a family and made as act as a unit. That strengthened our performance whether it was game day or every day practice,” he said.

“I remember the families and the community being extremely supportive which helped motivate us to leave everything on the field.”

Foschi believes there is some similarities between the sport and what his experience has been like in the military so far.

“I definitely see some correlations. For me personally, giving your all even when you’re exhausted applies to both. The same can be said for remembering what motivates you to give your all,” he said.

“You definitely need to have a relentless mindset when it comes to both football and the military.”

The military is one thing Foschi always found himself being drawn to.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind ever since I was a little kid,” said Foschi.

“I just never followed through or found a reason to join. Then I found my reason and held onto it dearly until I earned the title United States Marine.”

As a marine, Foschi’s main focus at the moment is being the best rifleman he can be until he is sent to his school house to receive his military occupation specialty code.

Although apprehensive at first, Foschi says his family supports his decision 100 percent. They understand what is on the line and know that it comes with the territory.

“At first they were worried because all throughout history Marines are the first to fight our country's battles. However as they saw my transformation, they knew that we have been trained to win and overcome anything in our way,” he said.

“The pride that comes with being a Marine is almost contagious. They are extremely proud and have full support in my decision.”

Foschi expressed what a big commitment jointing the military is and wants those considering to join to be aware.

“The commitment alone is a big deal. But for those who know it’s what they want, I say that it’s an amazing decision. From benefits and job security to serving our country and taking pride in everything you do, the military is truly a great thing to be a part of.”