ADDIS, La. (BRPROUD) – As Memorial Day approaches, a local family in West Baton Rouge Parish recently welcomed back one of their own, a United States Marine.

If you drove down LA 1 towards Plaquemine over the last week or so, you may have seen this sign on the side of the road.

19-year-old Austin M. Persinger returned home from boot camp on Saturday, May 21 after 13 weeks in Parris Island, S.C.

That same day, a welcome home party for Austin took place including his paternal and maternal grandparents, his aunt and her two young sons, his mom, stepdad, and sister, and more.

His father, Greg Persinger said, “I am so very proud of Austin. He was a good kid coming out of high school, but his decision to join the Marine Corps was excellent because they molded him into the man that he wanted to be.”

The sign for Austin on LA 1 was Greg’s idea.

Austin graduated from Brusly High School in 2021 and almost immediately followed in the footsteps of many family members.

The local Marine is joining his grandfather, stepdad, uncle, cousin, great grandfather, great uncle and second cousin in the United States Armed Forces.

Austin said that because his “grandfather and his father were both Marines, he knew if I were to join the military, it was going to be with the U.S. Marines to honor their legacy.”

The family of the Brusly High School graduate honored the new Marine upon his return home.

Austin’s stepmom, Joelle Persinger provided a video of the homecoming below:

Joelle said, “being the ultra-Patriotic Civics teacher that I am, seeing Austin make the decision to join the Marines and persevere through the challenge of boot camp, brings me more pride and respect for him than I could ever imagine. And to see him with the confidence that he now has in indescribable. I told him he had some ‘Joe Burrow swagger’ going on.”

Austin’s mom, Carrie Jackson echoed Joelle’s thoughts on Austin, “It takes a brave and strong heart to make a commitment to stand, fight, and serve our country. I know his future will have many opportunities!! He stands a little taller since boot camp-he’s more confident in who he is now!”

When asked about what boot camp, Austin says “if you give 100% and do what you’re told, it’s a lot easier than it would be if you’re lazy and try to just get through it with little to no effort.”

Now that boot camp is done, Austin says he feels a “sense of accomplishment and more confident after becoming a US Marine.”

Carrie Jackson said, “To know Austin and to have watched him grow and mature over the past 6 months has been such a blessing! When I say he stands a little taller, it’s not just physically but mentally also….His sense of purpose in life has intensified!”