Monday, August 23, 2010

My Marine Monday

 New Feature for the blog. Not sure how often I will get updates, but believe you me, they will be posted every Monday if possible.

Today was the day.  'dawg reported to MEPS, sworn in for active duty, given his travel orders and shipped out to boot camp.  A day that seems to have been a long time coming.  A day that while eagerly anticipated, still had some bittersweet moments.

He wanted Sissy there, even though she is too young to fully understand, we know the value of the pictures in the years to come and it will become important at some point.

'dawg was delivered to MEPS at 0500.  We got there around 11:00am.  And then the waiting begins.  You never know how the processing is going to go, so it's just a waiting game.

At least there were ways to keep the girl entertained.

Some pool and airhockey was just the thing to keep her happy.  The diet coke was to keep ME happy.

Finally spotting Daddy in one of many processing lines

Even their pool table has the appropriate language!

Nothing like a big wad of bubble gum to provide some more amusement.

Finally it was time.  We were called back into the room where the swearing in takes place.  He was previously sworn in to the Marines as a recruit.  Today was swearing him in for active duty.

Awaiting instructions

The line of flags is impressive

I love this one with Sissy and the Marine flag in the background.

Mimi and Sissy watching Daddy - our hair color is almost the exact same!

Officer doing the swearing in

Listening intently to the incredible words in the oath

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.    (courtesy of this website)

Swearing in - it gave me chills.

Handshakes of congratulations

The fam with the American flag behind us.  He is off to protect that beautiful symbol

After the ceremony - there is yet more waiting

Which means more video games to keep the little one entertained

More lines for Daddy

Daddy's little Princess

One last goodbye kiss from Daddy.  It's gonna be a long 13 weeks!

Loading the cabs to the airport

The last wave goodbye!

I thought I would be giddy and relieved to finally see him on his journey, but NGL - I cried.  Cried because it's the end of an era for my son.  The young man I said good bye to today, will not be the same man that I see again in 13 weeks.  I am not sure what changes there will be, but for certain change will happen.

We were surprised to have him appear on FB chat after their flight landed in Cali.  We chatted for about 30 minutes.  He ate dinner and then gave me a quick call before boarding the bus.

His first amazing experiences?
While boarding their flight, one lady stopped them and thank the recruits for their service.  And then during the flight, they were delivered several treats that were paid for by another woman on the flight.  'dawg had been assigned to be the group leader so he asked the flight attendant to point out who had been so generous to provide the recruits their treats.  Once the kind woman was pointed out, 'dawg wrote a note of thanks.  He let  her know that those would be the last treats the boys would have for a long time and that they were greatly appreciated it.  He signed it as The Marine Recruits, and then he had each of the boys in his charge sign the note and then asked the flight attendant to deliver it her.  I am proud of his leadership.  I was also glad to learn that because of his limited college credits he had earned a promotion right off the bat. He is going into boot camp as an E2 rather than an E1.  If he continues to do well, he can continue to rise in the ranks.

For now, he is on a bus in the hands of the DI (drill instructors).  The next 72 hours or so is all processing.  Pretty sure he will not be sleeping and will be on limited food.  His next phone call home will be a script that he has 30 seconds to deliver.  Not sure when letters can start.  I hope soon.
Actual boot camp starts Friday. 13 weeks later, I hope to be boarding a flight (Southwest with LuvPilot if I'm lucky) and sitting in the stands watching my son, a grown man graduate and earn the right to call himself a Marine.

I'm a proud Mama right now.  That's for sure.  While 'dawg and I have had our ups and downs throughout the years - who doesn't with their kids, I am overwhelmingly pleased with his decision to serve others.  His country, his God, and his family.

Semper Fi 'dawg!


Suzie said...

ahhhhh. that has my heart in my throat!

LKP said...

you have every right to be a proud mama. what honor!

our family is a very patriotic family. there's quite a legacy of military service & leadership between both my ancestors & my husband's. my husband, himself, is a medically retired soldier. i was sworn in with the navy until asthma circumstances & my husband's deployment to iraq meant i would not be able move forward with my own military career (at the time our daughter was 6...and her bio-dad was away to kyrgyztan with the peace corps, so she would have only had grandparents with her).

point is, we know the MEPS wait all too well. but we also know the overwhelming honor that floods over those who stand in that room, before the flags, & take the oath to protect this country & our freedoms; to be loyal & obedient to our leaders. through my own swearing in ceremony, i cried through the whole oath...knowing i was standing in my grandfathers' shadows...that i had an opportunity to also give back, to make a difference, to set a stalwart & valiant example for my daughter, and to contribute to our family's legacy.

it's chilling to know some don't value the commitments made in that little room.

so proud of your son! congrats to you as a mama. it says a lot about you & your husband, to have a brave son who is this selfless. the world needs more of this. more courage. more decency. more responsibility. more compassion. more honor. more manners (i LOVED the note for the goodies-what a guy!).

JennyMac said...

This gave me chills, Melissa.

And my Mom is the one on the plane who will buy treats. She has seen groups in uniform at the airport and bought lunch, sent rounds, or sent champagne to those who were returning home.

Awesome post.

" Hit It......." said...

Beautiful post. I am crying my friend! You were right about a journey that is now beginning. I am so glad that you were all there to see him off. I got chills seeing that room again (i.e. feeling the importance of the event). This will be one of the most important events of Corbin's life. xoxo

Pedaling said...

so many wonderful things.
your son and his growth in service.
the people all across this land who are grateful and express it!
so sweet.

Martha H. said...

NGL - I got a little teary reading this post. I'm so proud of 'dawg. It's been a long time coming.

tammy said...

I'm crying. So proud of this kid. And I really hope Luvpilot is your pilot too. You'll have to let me know when you have your flight info.

tiburon said...

And you should be a proud Mama! I am a proud friend. I cannot wait to follow his adventures.

Cherie said...

That has got my heart pounding. I am so proud of your boy and thankful too! He is in for some hard work and I know he will put his all into it for you his mother, for his daughter, for his family and for his country. It is a great and blessed thing!
You have every right to be one proud mama!!


Made me cry... Thank You Dawg!! Thanks to those amazing peolpe who are willing to say thanks so openly. Restores a little of my faith in humanity and reminds me there are so many out there still rooting for America.

Missy said...

Now, I am crying! How brave you are and how brave he is! I will be praying for his safety and for your family. 13 weeks is a long time...

wendy said...

Man, what an adventure. I can't even imagine all the emotions that are surging through you right now.
missing him

you get the idea. I can't even imagine what that would be like to be a military mom. You will be a great strength to him, of THAT I am sure.

God bless you both

Cheeseboy said...

Impressive. I am even proud to know you - a mother of a Marine.

Strange, I always pictured them getting sworn in in uniform. Still, the words are very cool. Very similar to the words the President states in the oath.

Vanessa said...

Good luck to him...and to you. I'm sure it will be a long 13 weeks. He will do great!

DeNae said...

*gulp* I'm sending you a gigantic psychic hug right now! My son did just four weeks at an ROTC leadership training this summer, and it was waaaaay harder than it had been dropping him off at the MTC. Dang, this mom gig is tough, isn't it??

Natalie said...

What a great day for you and your family. We are so proud of Corbin!!! Looking forward to many great Marine posts. :) And those pictures are priceless.

Teachinfourth said...

You have every right in the world to be proud of your boy…

And I am grateful.

Wife Of A Salesman said...

I'm cheering and crying. Thank you Sissy for letting your Daddy Go, Thank you M-cat and Splenda for letting your son Go. THANK YOU DAWG...for going.

Mae Rae said...

I have been waiting for this post and have been too busy to read it. I have goose pimples of pride and tears of a mother. YOU are without a doubt one of the greatest that has ever been made.

Congrats Marine Mom!