On a Saturday morning in early July, the new Marine recruits ("poolees" in Corps jargon) stand on the Bronx sidewalk in two lines of six apiece. Wearing red Marines T-shirts, hands clasped behind their backs, they have uniformly blank, stoic looks on their faces. All but George Zacatelco, that is. Just three days from his scheduled departure for boot camp, an event he's looked forward to for months, George can't suppress an excited smile. He's the chubbiest poolee and, at five feet four, the shortest except for one of the two girls. His face is broad and flat, with a cluster of shiny pimples on his nose. His short black hair shoots out from his head in a spiky fringe. His back is slightly hunched and his neck juts forward, giving him a turtle-like appearance. Sergeant Juan Valderrama emerges from the building, a compact, fit 26-year-old wearing black nylon pants and a gray T-shirt. Sergeant V, as everyone calls him, is a five-year veteran of the Marine Corps with a sharp triangle for a nose and a... More >>>