Tag Archives: usmc

A Simple Request

Andrew recently graduated from Military Combat Training at Camp Pendleton. We were going to drive out for his graduation ceremony and would get to spend a couple of hours with him before he was shipped out to MO to continue his training.

“Would you like for me to bring anything for you, son?” I asked.

I was thinking maybe he’d ask for me to bring food, or his favorite candy.

“Please just bring my guitar so I can play for a little bit before shipping out.” he replied.

I was so moved by his simple request.

I brought his guitar as he requested. After the ceremony was finished and photos with the family had been taken, my son was able to play for a few minutes before shipping out to MO.

I can’t wait until I can hear him play again. Hopefully in time for Christmas.

Another Goodbye. (Goodbyes Suck.)

After seventeen days, Andrew’s leave ended today.

We left the house at 6am and just a few hours later, I was saying goodbye in a parking lot. As I walked around the car to give him a goodbye hug, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but I fought them back.

“Stay strong. Son.” I said. “Make me proud. I love you so much.”

He hugged me, I hugged him back.

“I will, Mom. I love you too.”

He turned and walked away carrying all of his things. I sat in the car and watched him walk away.

“He’s a man now. My son is a man.”

I wanted to roll down my window and shout out “I love you! I’m going to miss you!” like I used to do when he was just a little guy. But I just sat there, watching him, proud of him. And then, I drove away and left him to do continue his journey.

His time here with us was simply wonderful, but the days flew by too quickly. He’s gone again and his presence here is already missed deeply. I can only hope the next three months pass as quickly as the last seventeen days did.

The Man I’ve Raised.

Our son has been home with us for twelve days. Having him home here with us has been wonderful. We’ve gone out for pizza with friends. We’ve gone out to breakfast. We’ve gone thrift store shopping. We’ve sat on the couch late at night and reminisced about the past. We’ve watched our favorite T.V shows together. We’ve eaten our favorite foods together. We’ve visited with friends and family. We’ve laughed. A LOT.

My son is definitely a changed man, but the core of who he is has remained unchanged. He’s still kind, loving and hilarious. He’s been transformed into a confident, strong, focused individual. He’s also not ashamed to admit that he is proud– proud of what he’s accomplished, proud of who he is. As his mother, this brings me immeasurable joy.

His time here at home is short– there are only five days left until he has to leave us again for another three months. (He has Marine Combat Training for thirty days, followed by his specialty training in Missouri for two months.) When I think of him leaving, my heart aches because I know I’ll miss him like crazy. However, I’m better prepared emotionally this time around. Even though I will miss him, I won’t allow myself to be consumed with fear and worry this time around. My son is no longer a little boy who can’t take care of himself. He’s a strong, capable, brave man. Not to mention, a freaking U.S. Marine.

A Video of Our Journey. We Are so Grateful. We Are So Proud.

Over two months ago, I kissed my son goodbye and left him to begin his journey to become a Marine.

The first few days of his absence were the most difficult days I’ve faced as a parent. I cried too much, I ate too much, I didn’t sleep much and I cried some more.

Luckily, I have an amazing family and support system. So many of you were there for me, sending me emails, texts and comments, letting me know you were thinking of me and praying for my son.

On August 9th, I got to see my son again. On August 10th, he graduated and we brought him home. It was the proudest, most meaningful moment.

I wanted to share this video I created and to say thank you to every single person who was there for me and my family during this amazing journey.

I am so grateful for your kindness.

And I am so proud of my son.

What My Marine in the Making Looks Like

When my son left for boot camp on May 1st, this is what he looked like

Yesterday, a video was posted of my son’s platoon. The video was taken on Thursday (July 26th.) This is what my son looks like today.

When I saw him on the video for the first time, it was shocking. He’s a changed man. He’s lost 29 pounds, but gained a ton of confidence. He’s strong, he’s fit and he’s only hours away from being a Marine.

Just minutes after I watched the video, downloaded his photo and sent it to everyone I know, my phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Mom!”

It was Andrew.

And he sounded happy, unlike the other few calls he’s made to home while away. (There have only been 4 calls. One to say he arrived, one to tell me he was injured and being dropped into Medical Recovery Platoon, one to tell me he was being placed back into training and one 27 second call to tell me he did not want to stay an extra night in San Diego after graduation.)

“Hello, son!” I said. “Why are you calling? Everything okay?”

“Yes. I’m calling because my platoon won all of the competitions and we’re Honor Platoon. So, I get a 7 minute call.”

It was the best phone call I’ve ever had with anyone in my entire life. My son was happy, he was confident, HE ACTUALLY LAUGHED. He said he’s nervous about The Crucible, but ready for it and that he’s up for the challenged. He also said he got Recruiter’s Assistance and that he’ll have an extra 7 days of leave before leaving for more training. I’ll get an entire seventeen days with my son! I couldn’t be happier than I am right this very minute.

In only eleven days I will get to see my son in person.

Joy. Joy. Joy.