Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

After 2 years aboard PI, Marine finishes MCT as honor graduate

Jul. 19, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Comments
Lance Cpl. Tallia M. Goodale was recognized as the Golf Co. honor graduate at the School of Infantry-East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 15. Goodale will report to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., to attend her military occupational specialty school to be trained as a heavy equipment mechanic. Goodale says she never anticipated graduating Marine Combat Training due to a being diagnosed with a condition that initially classified her as unfit for active duty during recruit training.
Lance Cpl. Tallia M. Goodale was recognized as the Golf Co. honor graduate at the School of Infantry-East aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 15. Goodale will report to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., to attend her military occupational specialty school to be trained as a heavy equipment mechanic. Goodale says she never anticipated graduating Marine Combat Training due to a being diagnosed with a condition that initially classified her as unfit for active duty during recruit training. (Cpl. Cameron O. Payne/Marines)
  • Filed Under

Lance Cpl. Tallia Goodale got the typical 10 days of leave all new Marines get after boot camp,but when it was over, she had to go back to the training depot.

It was the start of a two-year battle against illness and medical boards that threatened to cut short her time in the Marine Corps.

Goodale, 21, arrived at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, in June 2012. Worried she’d fallen in with the wrong crowd back home, she said she joined the Corps to find a new path.

But near the end of boot camp, she injured her knee. She was able to graduate with the rest of her company, but was ordered back to the island for rehab before she could move onto Marine Combat Training.

“It was demotivating,” she said “It was hard to see that everyone else was going to training, and I had to stay on Parris Island.”

It’s rare for Marines to have to return to Parris Island after boot camp. In 2014, only about 26 Marines had to do so, said 1st Lt. Jean Durham, a spokeswoman for Parris Island.

When Goodale returned though, things didn’t move in the right direction. As her knee healed, she started losing weight, felt sluggish and couldn’t keep food down. The athlete who played four sports before shipping off to boot camp said she knew something wasn’t right.

“I couldn’t exercise without getting sick to my stomach,” she said. “Some mornings I couldn’t get out of bed. I just wasn’t myself.”

After several doctors struggled to find a diagnosis, Goodale said it was recommended that she go before a medical board — the service wanted her out. But she refused until someone could figure out what was wrong with her, she said.

Months into her struggle, a Navy doctor in Virginia diagnosed her with a rare disease called Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome, which was causing her abdominal pain and weight loss. She needed a stent in her celiac artery, so in June 2013 — about 10 months after her boot camp graduation — she underwent surgery.

In October, Goodale went before a medical board and was found unfit to serve on active duty. She started preparing to return to the life she chose to leave behind.

“I was in what I would consider my black hole,” she said. “But a couple of drill instructors I created a really good mentoring relationship with had a lot of long talks with me. That convinced me that this was what I wanted to do. ... I knew if I wanted this, I’d have to fight for it.”

She pleaded her case and won. Goodale began training harder, going out on hikes and leading physical training to prepare herself for Marine Combat Training, and left Parris Island in June.

More than 700 days after standing on the yellow footprints, Goodale completed MCT at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on July 15. She was recognized during the ceremony as an honor graduate.

Outranking everyone in her platoon, Goodale said she was in charge of the privates and privates first class when their combat instructors weren’t around. It was motivating, she said, but nothing new since she grew used to responsibility as she developed into a leader in a rather unlikely place for a new Marine — a recruit depot.

Next, Goodale is headed to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, for training in her military occupational specialty — heavy equipment mechanic. She’s up for re-enlistment in about eight months, and said she’ll do everything she can to remain in the Corps.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

System breakdown?
Tech made chief in 7 years despite 2006 conviction

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook