Welcome to Mighty Marine Mom
First of all….I am not yet really a “Marine Mom.” He is not a Marine until he graduates from boot camp. Right now, he’s not even a recruit. He’s referred to as a “poolie,” as in a “pool” of candidates.
My 25-year-old son Sean enters the United States Marine Corps on Monday, May 23. He’s headed to boot camp for thirteen weeks in San Diego. Once he reports and is able to write home (after two weeks), I will be posting to his blog via his letters, so his friends and extended family can keep up with developments (he won’t have a lot of time to write letters).
If you read his blog, you’ll see that this has been a very long journey….and we’re just starting! We’re headed up to Dallas the weekend before the ship-out day to see him off. We’ll get one phone call that night that he has safely arrived. After that, we won’t hear from him at all for two weeks. He will have no cell phone, no internet access, no nuthin. He can write letters home during his very limited free time.
When I tell people what’s going on (those who don’t know, anyway), they invariably ask, “How’s Mom??” Mom is fine, thank you, and very proud. But it has taken me quite some time to get to that point.
He announced this decision early last fall (he’s been toying around with it for years). Both Sean and hubby Bruce will tell you that I did not react well. (I had no problem with the military; I just wanted him to go in as an officer.) I knew that living in that state would eat me from the inside out, so I worked very hard to get to some level of acceptance. By the time the holidays rolled around, I was able to speak to him about it in very limited terms. As the weeks went by, I came to terms with his decision, and now, we’re able to speak about it openly and freely. Believe me, that’s a much better place to be.
The situation became easier (for me, anyway) when it dawned on me that this is what HE wants to do, passionately, and it’s my job as Mom to be supportive of that. It also helped knowing that he won’t be going into the infantry. (My utmost respect goes to those who do and their parents/loved ones.) But he will be a Marine, and I am absolutely certain he will deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan at some point. After he attends an abbreviated infantry school (which starts ten days after boot camp), he heads to tech school, probably for several months. We don’t know where yet.
We plan to head out to San Diego in mid-August for his graduation. They tell us that we shouldn’t book anything until the tenth week. Not that there’s any expectation of a wash-out ….but he has to pass a certain number of qualifications (marksmanship, swimming, and others), and if he doesn’t pass, his graduation date slips a week at a time.
It surprises me not a bit that he wants to enter the military. Bruce served in the Air Force for eight years, and Sean has always derived a great deal of satisfaction in service. I’m surprised this is the way he chose to do it, but he’s ready to go and get started on this new phase of his life.
I’ll post occasionally here as he writes and as I learn more on the Recruit Parents web community that I’ve joined (www.recruitparents.com/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=852). I’m happy to answer any questions as I’m able; just post a comment.
Dad and I are very proud of you Sean! Semper Fi!