MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Ten years ago, FOX6 News introduced an American hero in the making. Now, a newly-minted Marine returns home to Milwaukee.
FOX6 News first met Dylan Figueroa outside Miller Park as he headed to a Brewers game on Flag Day. That trip proved a formative one, and helped make him what he is today.
Do you remember how you felt the first time you heard the National Anthem after the terrorists attacks of 9/11? It's likely something many of you will never forget. For some, that post 9/11 streak of patriotism continues to chart the course of their lives.
"I remember being home from school that day because I was sick and my mom was in the living room crying and I was little so I went in there I was all worried and everything because I didn't know what was going on," said Dylan Figueroa.
FOX6 News first stumbled upon the young Dylan Figueroa a few years after that fateful day, he was 8 at the time.
Ten years later, the now eighteen year old Figueroa remembers that moment well.
"I remember walking up to the stadium with my family and I saw a specialist in the army being interviewed and he was standing there handing out flags. I just wanted to thank him and just talk to him because that was like my first experience ever actually getting to go talk to someone in the military," Figueroa said.
He never lost that fascination with the armed forces, his sister says she grew up listening to him talk about signing up.
"It went from the Army to the Air Force and then finally to the Marines," said Figueroa.
Now Private Figueroa, he's home on a ten day break after completing boot camp, he says he's proud to be the man in uniform, just like that soldier he saw at Miller Park all those years ago.
"I have a lot of pride in that because I get to call myself a Marine now and I'm part of a long line of Marines and now I'm a part of the legacy and it's a good feeling," said Figueroa.
Figueroa says he'll be heading out to Camp Pendleton bright and early on Tuesday morning to attend infantry school.