My oldest has enlisted in the Marines. Yes, you read that right. He has been considering it for quite awhile. Reading, researching, talking to enlisted men, as well as a retired colonel. He has picked as many brains as he can about this decision. He decided it was the right thing for him. He began the paperwork, and was sworn in today.
I met him at the MEPS office today at about noon. He had been there since early morning doing all kinds of testing and paperwork.
He and three other recruits in the same group were taken into the swearing in ceremony room and ordered to stand at parade rest.
And while they were told to be still and hold their position. He couldn't help looking around and taking it all in.
MEPS is the processing center for all branches of the armed forces so all were represented there with their flags. Of the four in C's party, I don't know who else was Marine or what, I do know there were no National Guard, simply because they didn't have to do the second part of the oath
Taking the oath. I got chills watching him and listening to the words of what he is committing and sacrificing to do. My heart swelled with pride and tears came to my eyes.
Congratulatory handshake by the officer who swore them in.
Photo op by the Marine flag
and under the Marine seal
And no one around to take our picture together, so we had to do the old standby - the self portrait! I got him to smile now!
We couldn't be prouder of this young man. It is a HARD decision to be sure. He will be leaving his daughter, his parents, his brothers and his friends behind for a period of time. But he also recognizes that this will be the best thing in the long run.
He has an open contract so no MOS chosen as of yet. He was set up with delayed deployment status so that he can finalize some paperwork on his divorce. However, he was openly warned that this really meant nothing. That they could call him up at ay time. Once he gets the call he will go to boot camp for 13 weeks. And then was told quite frankly to plan on deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. He has spent much time talking to vets, to current enlistee's and to those who have done tours over there. He is preparing himself as much as he can, for what he knows will be pure hell.
We've had the discussions of what happens if he doesn't come back. Or he comes back messed up. They are not easy conversations to have but we've always been a very open family so we aren't afraid to have them.
I am so incredibly proud of him, there are no words. I have been asked over the past week or so about my feelings and if I am afraid for him. To be honest. Nope.
This was my boy who was born full of piss and vinegar. He was mad as hell the minute he was born and his challenge in life has always been to be happy. A baseball coach once nicknamed him Bulldog. He's just that kind of a kid. I never worry about him in a fight. He can hold his own for sure. Now that I think about it, I believe that will become his new blog name. Bulldog.
The past week is the happiest I have ever seen him. What this experience will do for him, is yet to be seen, but I have a feeling that it will be the best thing he could ever do for himself. He will form a foundation of self esteem, self worth and self pride that no one but himself can give him. He is making his family proud of him. And last but not certainly not least, he is doing something to give his daughter reason to be proud him and to give her her OWN sense of self esteem. "My daddy is a soldier".
Yeah, it's a good thing.
As with anything military, he is now in the waiting game. The orders could come tomorrow, or not for several months. His focused on his health, getting in top physical shape so boot camp doesn't kill him and focusing on becoming the best Marine that he can.
For my part, I will be the best Marine Mom that I know how to be. He has our full support, love and confidence.
I look forward to My Marine updates on this ole blog....... who knows how soon they will start.
Semper Fi Hoo-rah!