Our Marine is Ready to Start Tech School!
A lot has transpired since my last post when our Marine was “cooling his heels” after completing infantry school. Time to bring you up to date.
After a somewhat frustrating wait at Camp Pendleton, he boarded a l-o-n-g and tiring overnight redeye flight to Florida in mid-October. Finally, after nearly six months in a big, noisy, no-privacy squad bay (with thirty other Marines and a shared bathroom), he moved into a proper barracks. He has two roommates, a great improvement over thirty. On a recent Skype call, I asked why he had his long sleeves pulled down. “Because it’s freaking COLD in here!” he beefed. This child of Texas doesn’t do “cold” well.
Shortly after he arrived, he endured his first CFT (Combat Fitness Training) session since boot camp. I asked how it went; “badly,” he said, but not too horribly, considering this was the first time in over a month. He’ll get back in shape quickly; they hold PT (physical training) every morning during the week.
His class begins in a few days, and he is very excited. He has been looking forward to this since he started boot camp in the spring. He sat in on some preliminary, introductory briefings for his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty; his job), but nothing in depth. He still pulls guard duty while he waits for his class to start, but it’s “easier” than the duty he pulled at Pendleton.
He gets four days leave each for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. We’re waiting for class to start before making Christmas plans, but we’ll probably fly out there to be with him.
His homesickness still surprises us (he even mentioned it in his own blog); he has been away from home now (well, mostly) for over seven years. For the first time, though, he really doesn’t know what’s next. It reminds me of the scene in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” where Indy has to step out onto seemingly-nothing over a huge chasm. We’ll continue to encourage him to get involved with local activities while off-duty so he can meet like-minded people and start making some new friends. Growing up, he didn’t learn the skills of quickly making friends (and eventually telling them “goodbye”). We only moved three times, and he only remembers the last one 13 years ago. But just like the skills he’ll learn in tech school, he’ll also need to master these social skills if he wants to have a successful career in the Marine Corps. I hope we can help…from a distance.
–Mighty Marine Mom