CRANBERRY TWP — When Tabitha Laine graduated from Marine Corps basic training at Parris Island, S.C., earlier this month, she had some special visitors.
One was her father, Bob Laine, who could not wait to see his daughter again after nearly three months of contact only by letter.
The other visitor was a Marine veteran, Bob Kunkle, who was compelled after meeting Tabitha only a few times to make the trip down south to see her make the transition from civilian to Marine.
“It's a special brotherhood that not many people understand unless you go through it,” Kunkle said. “That's why I wanted to welcome Tabitha into the fraternity … She is just an incredible young lady. It's an honor and privilege to do this for her.”
Tabitha Laine is a 2017 graduate of Seneca Valley Senior High School. She was supposed to leave for basic training shortly after Seneca Valley's graduation on May 26, but after a request from her recruiter to leave earlier, she was given permission to leave high school early. She shipped out for basic training on May 16.
Bob Laine said he wasn't surprised at all when Tabitha told him she wanted to go into the Marines. Their family has a long history of military service, he said.
She's always taken on a lot of responsibility and handled it well, Bob Laine said, between working a part-time job and being in marching band, chorus and JROTC.
“She's the kind of kid that when she says she's going to do something, she does it,” Bob Laine said. “She's someone I couldn't be prouder of.”
A full report will appear in the Butler Eagle.