Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's day Tribute and a Marine (recruit) update

Today has been a little emotional.  Okay, maybe a lot.  I've read and watched beautiful and moving tributes honoring veterans all day via blogland and facebook.  I've been touched by the thoughts and feelings of respect shown towards the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms and serve their fellow Americans.  A common phrase I have read is "A veteran is one who signed a blank check for their country".  I think that is very appropriate.  Some checks were extremely large.  Years of service that called them away from their families for long, extended periods of time, injured bodies, fallen friends, loss of peace of mind and lifetimes of physical and mental challenges.  Some signed blank checks that ended up being the sum of their entire accounts.  Their very lives.  And, at the time of their "signing", they had no idea what their total would end up being.  It was indeed a blank check.  That thought humbles me.  Immensely.  To the point that I have thought about my post all day long and can't quite find the right words.  Every time I try to, I cry.  Forming words in my head doesn't happen, instead my heart just swells with love and respect.  Pure and unadulterated admiration.  I think that is the only tribute I can give via my blog.  My real tribute comes in living worthy of their sacrifices.  Every day.  Appreciating my freedoms.  Being involved in the welfare of my country.  As was said to Private Ryan in Spielberg's  "Saving Private Ryan":   'James.......earn this......earn it'.
My tribute will be much more than just today, it will be the rest of my life attempting to 'earn it'.  To deserve the freedoms that I have. 

Got a letter from 'dawg yesterday.   This very day, at sunrise, he will have earned his Eagle, Globe and Anchor and the PRIVILEGE of calling himself a Marine.  Of course, the minute I woke up, I was thinking about him.  Knowing he was climbing that last mountain.  How was he doing?  Did he need to be helped?  Did he help someone else?  Literally, as I was waking in the pre-dawn hours, he was finishing his Crucible.  He's been on my mind all day long.  I can't wait to hear all about it.  I know it will have been a life changing event that he will never forget.  Veteran's day will now ALWAYS be a day of remembrance for our family.  For ever more.  How fitting that he completes the final test on Veteran's day.   I see no coincidences in life.  It's for a reason. 

Actually got 3 envelopes from MCRD yesterday.  I would rather post them now, than wait for Monday.
The first was an envelope from the branch missionary couple serving there.  It was a flier with information about the Family Day Luncheon and a handwritten note in the side margin:
"What a fine young son you have.  He has been a great prayer leader.  We look forward to meeting you."
Well, Elder and Sister Griffith's, we look forward to meeting you too!

The second contained a quick note and a pink receipt:
MOMMA & DAD -
ATTACHED TO THIS IS MY TAX WRITE OFF DONATION SHEET. I AM DONATING $5 EACH PAYCHECK TO THE GREAT DADS FOUNDATION.  PLEASE FILE THIS AWAY SAFELY  DAD  : )

5 DOLLARS IS EQUIVALENT TO A MEAL AND I FIGURE IT'S A GREAT CHARITY TO HELP STRUGGLING SINGLE FATHERS.

THANKS MOM & DAD
LOVE YOU GUYS!
SEE YOU THURSDAY!!
-RECRUIT CATMULL
'SEMPER FI'

The third envelope had our real letter:

DEAR FAMILY!

AIGHT.  AIGHT.  SO.

WHAT'S GOOD??  I GOTTA START BY SAYING SORRY MOM AND DAD.  I WAS THRILLED TO CALL YOU GUYS, BUT I LITERALLY HAD A DRILL INSTRUCTOR RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME WHEN I CALLED YOU BOTH SO I HAD TO STAY STRICTLY BUSINESS AND I HAD TO MAINTAIN MY BEARING, BUT !!  I WAS SO HAPPY TO JUST HEAR YOUR GUYS' VOICES : )

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HANDLING SO MUCH AT HOME FOR ME, IT'S REALLY HELPING ME STAY STRESS FREE HERE!  WE FINISHED OUR FINAL PFT LAST WEEK!  OUR PLATOON TOOK 1ST! : )  I DID SO WELL.  I IMPROVED MY STATS LIKE CRAZY FROM THE START OF B.C. TIL NOW.

IST (INITIAL STRENGTH TEST)
PULL UPS - 8
3 MILE RUN - 21:45
CRUNCHES IN 2 MINUTES - 87

FINAL PFT
PULL UPS - 16
3 MILE RUN - 18:40
CRUNCHES IN 2 MINUTES - 115

I WAS IN GOOD SHAPE TO START, BUT I'M IN GREAT SHAPE NOW : )

I'M IN CHURCH RELAXING RIGHT NOW.  IT'S BEEN A GOOD WEEK.  WE HAD OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS INSPECTION YESTERDAY (ASK THE COLONEL ABOUT THE STRESS OF IT) HA  HA   I DID WELL.  MY UNIFORM WAS PERFECT.  I LOVE LOOKING FRESH.  I AM PRETTY GOOD AT LOOKING GOOD  HAHAHAHAH  J/K    I TAKE LOTS OF PRIDE IN MY UNIFORM THOUGH.

I AM ABOUT TO HEAD OFF FOR THE CRUCIBLE AFTER CHURCH.  I AM SO FRICKIN EXCITED.  THE FINAL TEST.  THE LAST THING I HAVE TO DO.  IT'S SUNDAY AND ON THURSDAY.....I WILL BE A UNITED STATES MARINE!!! : )
AHHHHHH  ....

CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU GUYS.  WE ARE GONNA HAVE SO MUCH FUN WHEN I LEAVE HERE

ANOTHER QUICK UPDATE.  MY MOS HAS BEEN MADE OFFICIAL.  I AM 2100 GROUND ORDNANCE TECHNICIAN.  I AM THE GUY WHO MAKES, TESTS AND WORKS IN THE PRODUCTION OF WEAPONS AND GROUND WEAPONRY AND EQUIPMENT. (AS FAR AS I KNOW)  IT'S CRAZY HOW MUCH THINGS CAN CHANGE.  I'M JUST HERE TO SERVE SO WHEREVER THEY PUT ME IS WHERE I WILL WORK HARD AT.

I WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT IT SOON I AM SURE.  I WILL EXPLAIN IT ALL WHEN I SEE YOU GUYS NEXT WEEK! : )

PLEASE WRITE  BACK TO THIS SO I CAN HAVE MY MAIL DURING MARINE WEEK AND LET ME KNOW THE LATEST AND WHAT THE PLANS ARE AND ETC.  HA HA

I LOVE & MISS YOU GUYS
CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU NEXT WEEK
HAVE A GREAT WEEK
- RECRUIT CATMULL
'SEMPER FI'

I think this might be the last letter we actually get from him.  He usually writes on Sunday's and then we get it Wednesday, but next Wednesday we'll all be on our way to him.  I'm getting one last one off in the morning so he does have something to read during Marine week, and then I will wait patiently for Thursday.  What if I can't help myself and run across the field and jump into his arms and hug him?  Think that will earn me some IT?  (incentive training).  Guess I better work on my self-restraint between now and then eh?

Until then, I'm off to google what his new MOS is and see how I am going to feel about that.  Is it sad that my biggest fear is that it will mean he will go to school in CA and not in NC?  I was looking forward to a trip to the east coast : )

Happy Veteran's day - I hope you had an opportunity to show your appreciation to a veteran
and to my new Marine family........
Semper Fi
from the latest Marine Mom to join the ranks.

15 comments:

Cherie said...

Wow!! What an awesome day for your family!!
I have never had a serviceman close to me - no brothers or sons or husbands in the service. I cannot imagine how you must feel but when I read the letters from your boy to you I feel proud of him and excited for you to go to see him.
He is doing soooooo well and I love that he takes pride in his uniform and is excited for his assignment. It is truly ALL GOOD!
Happy Day for you Marine Mama!!

" Hit It......." said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
" Hit It......." said...

I had a weird and emotional day as well. I kept listening to tributes to veterans and their families and realized "we are now apart of this."

I know Corbin will do well with "The Crucible." He will then be onto his next mission.

His big day is coming up; I am so excited for you all.

xoxo

Garden of Egan said...

I am so dang proud of your son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It sounds like he has been through fire and come out like tempered steel.
Have so much fun. Go ahead and make a fool of yourself screaming and running into his arms. I'm sure you won't be the only one

Ya, Veteran's Day...flags.... they are never the same after your own serve. NEVER.

Keep us posted.

Lara said...

I love the thing about the blank check....such a wonderful way to put it, and very poignant.

So excited for you that you're almost there to see him graduate! :)

gemini said...

Proud of all the heroes around the world. My father was one too.

Cheeseboy said...

Today I am grateful for your son and thousands of brave young men and women just like him that are protecting our freedoms.

Amy said...

I love the "blank check" analogy. I know a handful of men who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two of those I have watched grow from young teenagers to soldiers. I have had a lump in my throat all day. My son called Grandpa to say "Thank You" for his service.

Did you see the kid on the news whose only wish was to be a soldier? He is sick and all he wanted was to be an "army guy". I cried.

It is a great honor for you to be the mother of a soldier.

LKP said...

was able to pull myself up off the couch for some minor blogtime. so glad i got to read this! makes me feel better to know the crucible is over for him. you're right, what a fabulous day to have that final test under his belt!

(i hugged my vet, btw, so i'm squared on my vet day stuff...actually my vet's been taking care of me all day since he had the day off from work. i'm a lucky girl!)

speaking of hugs, be sure and hug him for me next week please! can't wait for you either. IT my toe. like they'll get after his momma....no, he'll just catch the brunt of it instead. lol.

and considering you're zipping a letter off to him, i guess that means there's more time for me to jot a note to him too. that makes me feel better as well!

k, gotta go lay back down, my back is KILLING me. i'll just have to write his note from the couch.

::vet-day hugs::

Mrs. Organic said...

You can just feel his love and excitement for what he's doing. Please tell him how very inspirational he's been and congratulate him for me (I know, a complete stranger, but I just love the transformation or the revelation of his character).

tammy said...

I'm sure it was a very emotional day for you. Veterans Day has never been the same since seeing my BIL serve and the sacrifices my sister went through each year. I love to see how happy your son is. What a huge accomplishment! And yes, you're going to have to practice some restraint. But I can't wait until you're telling us all about it.

Mae Rae said...

tons of hugs being sent your way today.

Just SO said...

What a wonderful tribute.

I have to say that I think that the fact that your son became a Marine on Veterans day is awesome. And I agree, not a coincidence. I'll be hoping the the next week just flies by until you get to hug your Marine.

Suzie said...

His letters are so sweet. Love his attitude & your relationships!

Totally inspiring. thanks for all he does!

tiburon said...

He certainly has grown a lot. It has been awesome to watch it :)