SWANSBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – A Marine at Camp Lejeune is being honored for her service after growing up overseas.
The Swansboro Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee awarded their Military Person of the Quarter Award to Sgt. Alona Radchencko. She was born and raised in Ukraine before moving to the United States in 2015, eventually joining the Marine Corps.
“It’s a huge pleasure for me to be recognized for everything I did,” she said. “I always try to be the best at my job and everything I do.”
After signing up for the armed forces and becoming a U.S. citizen, Radchencko had the opportunity to deploy with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“There, I was receiving gear for the older units that we had, and just making sure they had everything for mission accomplishment,” she said.
That includes serving as an interpreter for the Marine Corps and NATO allies. While she was on ship, her father was on the frontlines of Ukraine volunteering in the fight against Russia.
“Honestly, it has been pretty stressful, especially since I’ve been deployed on ship. And I didn’t always have sources of communication,” said Radchencko. “Sometimes I wouldn’t have a way to communicate with my dad for like weeks or even months or with any members of my family, and it was extremely hard because I didn’t know what was going on.”
Although she said it’s been hard, her dad has been her role model to keep pushing for her dreams.
“When he showed that he started protecting Ukraine, and helping Ukraine like that. I was like, wow, I wish I could do something like that to you one day,” she said.
Now, Radchencko will soon be moving up and doing what she’s strived to do since joining.
“I’m about to make a lateral move to a different MOS, which is counterintelligence, human intelligence. And with that MOS I have, I’m gonna have more opportunities to actually utilize my languages,” she said.
Radchencko said she plans to continue serving the United States and just re-enlisted for another six years.