If you catch Nichole Marques of Toms River flashing a proud smile, there's a good reason. Her son, Airman Matthew E. Marques, just cleared the first major hurdle of his U.S. Air Force career.

Airman Matthew Marques (U.S.Air Force)

Airman Marques underwent eight weeks of basic training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.

The program entails military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, basic warfare priinciples and skills.

Marques also accumulates four credits toward an associate degree in applied science through the Community College of the Air Force.

The Airman is a 2016 graduate of Central Regional High School in Bayville.

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