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Marine corporal exceeds expectations, helps fight cancer

29 Mar 2010 | Gunnery Sgt. Katesha Washington

Dependable. Determined. Motivated. Those are just three of the many words Gunnery Sgt. Derrick Hayes, assistant staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the flammables section, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, uses to describe Cpl. Dana Hineline.

            "She is just simply outstanding," he noted about Hineline. "If you need something to get done the right way, the first time, give it to Cpl. Hineline and she will make it happen."

            Her strong work ethic and aggressive attitude towards mission accomplishment are what earned her a meritorious promotion to corporal and are part of the reason why she has been nominated for a meritorious promotion to sergeant. 

            Hineline first proved her metal during a deployment to Iraq with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 from August 2008 to March 2009 where she was in charge of communications for her squad and taught classes on the Blue Force Tracker equipment.  She also provided instruction for counter improvised explosive device courses.  After volunteering to stay in Iraq past her required time, she was selected to deploy to Afghanistan from November 2009 to January 2010 where she was responsible for shipping gear to units throughout the NATO's area of responsibility.

            But the 21-year-old is known for more than her dogged determination and drive to exceed expectations, she is also known as a philanthropist in her community.  As a volunteer with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, she stays awake for more than 24 hours during the walkathon to help raise money and support for cancer patients.

            "By helping cancer patients, I have learned how to open my arms to anyone in need of help.   It really hurts to know I can live my life healthy and strong while others are counting down their days to survive.  The least I can do is spill my heart out to those individuals." she explained.

            She also gives her time and money to local animal shelters and rescue and adoption agencies.  Her goal is to do whatever she can in her power to make the world a better place, if only with small acts of kindness.

            "I think community service starts in small towns and makes a big difference in your country. There are so many things you can do to help better this world and by getting involved, you can meet new people and have fun when it comes to stepping up and leading." she said.

            Hineline's go-getter attitude stems from her interaction with her Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor in high school.  Encouragement from Gunnery Sgt. Lyndon Smith, a retired Marine, was the main reason Hineline joined the Marine Corps.

            "He always encouraged me to better myself.  He taught me everything I know when it comes to drill and discipline.  So every time I reach a goal or accomplish a hard task, I make a call to thank him for making me such a good Marine." said Hineline.

            In addition to her community service and long work hours, Hineline is working towards her goal of helping mentally challenged individuals when she retires. She is currently learning how to speak American sign language through a course from Coastal Carolina Community College.  Her drive and determination to be a well-rounded Marine is also preparing her to become a well-rounded woman.

            "A real woman always has a goal.  She knows what she wants and she strives to better herself.  In order for a female to really get respect, she needs to hold herself to a higher standard." she added.

            Hineline's next step on her journey to be a standout woman is to become a drill instructor.  It is only a matter of when, not if, the motivated Marine will reach her goals. 

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