GREEN RIVER — Who says dreams can’t come true? For as long as they can remember, Green River residents Braydn Boutin and Xander Mandros have been friends. In fact, it all started when they were 3 years old.
As their friendship grew, so did their ideas of what they were going to be when they grew up. Starting at about the age of 5, both Braydn and Xander dreamt of serving in the military. Since they were only five, they just left it at that.
However, when they were around 12 years old, they decided they wanted to join the United States Marine Corps. “Both boys have followed their dreams and joined together right after high school,” Braydn’s mother Jerilyn Boutin said. Not only did they both want to join the military, but they were both raised by single mothers.
Braydn graduated from Expedition Academy and Xander obtained his GED from Western Wyoming Community College in 2022. Both of them went through a 13-week recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, and graduated on September 30. Braydn graduated with the rank of Private First Class from the 2nd Battalion Fox Company Platoon 2134. He graduated as the squad leader and will soon be moving onto his next stage of training, Jerilyn said.
Xander graduated with the rank of Private from the 2nd Battalion Fox Company Platoon 2133. He will also move onto his next stage of training.
“After training, Bradyn and Xander will start their military careers and they will be physically parting ways for the first time in 15 years,” Jerilyn said. “Neither time nor distance could ever break the bond of brotherhood and friendship that the two of them share. We want to congratulate these boys on becoming U.S. Marines.”
Bradyn was inspired by his late uncle Cody Siler who served in the United States Army, while Xander was inspired to join the military from his grandfather Gus Mandros, who was in the U.S. Army and brother-in-law Caleb Mortensen, a U.S. Marine.
Both Bradyn and Xander wanted to thank Sergeant Colton Phillips at the Rock Springs Marine Recruit Station for helping them along the way.