How to Cope With Your Son's Leaving for Marine Corps Bootcamp
Tips from a mom whose son has chosen to be a recruit in USMC Boot Camp to become a United States Marine
One Baby That Became a United States Marine
When Your Child Tells You He has Decided to Join the Military
If you aren't already discussing the issue of serving the country, the first thing that happens when your child tells you he or she has decided to serve the country, your heart falls deep into the pit of your stomach, and you begin to think you are losing your hearing. This is probably a different kind of “feelings cocktail” than you have ever experienced before. This group of feelings is usually a mixture of fear, faith, pride, and shock.
You will ask many questions of your child and of the recruiter. You are not going to want to hear some of the answers that will be given to you. However, there are plenty of sources of help in understanding the process, support, and information. Chances are your child has already done plenty of research on the subject. Be sure to have a serious, open, and honest conversation with your child comparing all of his or her options.
Faith is going to be your most important means of survival. You will need faith in God, faith in the military, and faith in your child. It is also important that you understand it is impossible to be fully prepared for the life changing event, and it is recommended that you get through it in sections of time. Don’t worry about anything beyond the 3 months of boot camp. Focus on the day to day goals, and be strong for your child.
Parris IslandClick thumbnail to view full-size
Boot CampClick thumbnail to view full-size
What to Expect When He or She Leaves With a Recruiter to Serve the Country
When the dreaded day comes, and the recruiter leaves with your child, once again, your heart falls into the pit of your stomach. At this point either fear sets in, or you will just feel numb. There may be some crying; well, there probably will be some crying. Once again, the mixture of feelings, if you are not numb, is tough to control. Fear, faith, and pride remain, and now add respect for your soon to be mature young man or woman for making a responsible decision. It’s always encouraged to feel, but use it to your advantage. Focus on the faith, pride, and respect. After all, there were many before your soon to be adult and there will be many after.
After about two weeks you will find yourself looking for the mail carrier on a daily basis. The letters will eventually come, but it always feels like months in between. As Recruits, your family member will have almost no time to write letters, but they all make a huge effort to get some out. What’s really important is that you send letters. The Recruiter will have an address for you in a day or two if not before the day they depart. It can be hard to write a letter, and many people don’t know what to say. Letter writing seems to be a lost art these days. If you have difficulty, just talk to your family member as you did when they are home. Tell them about your day, ask them questions, any news regarding the family or pets, and always encourage them to be strong, pray, have faith, and know they are loved and supported from afar.
The most difficult part is not knowing the whole story. Calendars with a daily schedule are provided, and that is very helpful. Calendars are also available online. It is highly recommended that you reach out for support from friends, family, church, and support websites online.
The Run on Family Day
Thank You for Your Service and Sacrifices
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Boot Camp Graduation, is it Cause for Celebration or Fear?
Seeing your son as a man for the first time is quite overwhelming! The day you have waited for is finally here. Once again, you cannot possibly be prepared for what he or she has become. The facial expressions and body language will be different than any you’ve seen before. The words they use, manners, and disposition will all be very new to you.
It is quite a thrill to see your former child as part of a team of brave patriots. One surprise you may get is that he or she will no longer have the same degree of communication with you. They have their own lives with their own experiences, some of which you cannot possibly begin to understand. You are now a smaller part of his or her life. Truthfully, whether you want to accept it or not, this is a normal process in life. This way is just a condensed version of the transition.
After Graduation and a 10 day leave, you will say goodbye again, and a new feeling of fear will emerge. Some questions you ask yourself and others will be similar to, “Where is he or she going? How much danger will they be in?“ Once again, you will learn how to deal with the unknown using all of your support resources.
GraduationClick thumbnail to view full-size
Continuing Through the Tours of Duty
Dealing with the emotional roller coaster, will be exhausting to all of you. It is difficult as well as rewarding. Keep your faith strong and depend on your support system.
Not being able to communicate as often as you would like is a struggle, but thinking about being grateful for the ability to communicate as compared to wars of the past may be a more positive way to deal with that.
"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen
God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan
United States Marine Corps History
According to the United States Marine Corps (USMC), History Division, “On November 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that 'two Battalions of Marines be raised' for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps".
USMC has played a major role in every war America was involved in. In World War I, the 4th Marine Brigade earned the name “Devil Dogs” in 1918 because of their bravery on the battle fields of France.
“Semper Fidelis” is a Latin phrase adopted as the USMC motto. It means “Always Faithful”, and is often shortened to, “Semper Fi”.
“Chesty” is the name of the USMC Mascot, an English Bull Dog. Please see the link below for more information about “Chesty”, USMC history, and great photos.
Iwo Jima Memorial
Links of Support for Military Moms
Mom's Prayer for her Son
I Give To You, My Son-
I held him as an infant; I hugged him as a boy
and through the years he has become my greatest pride and joy.
I love him more than I can say, his life more precious than my own,
but gone are the whims and notions of the little boy that I had known.
For the years have passed so quickly since the time it all began
and now he stands before me with the conviction of a man.
He wants to serve his country, he states aloud with pride
as I try to sort out the emotions that I'm feeling deep inside.
A union of the uncertain fear, which I cannot control
and the allegiance which lies deep within my patriotic soul.
I trust that my years of guidance will serve as a strong foundation
as he performs the duties requested from his beloved nation.
God please guide him as he travels to the places our soldiers have bled
and walk with him through pathways where those heroes' feet have tread.
Oh Sweet Land of Liberty, humbly I give to you, my son, praying you'll return him safely home when his work for you is done.
---Author unknown--- *Source: www.allmilitary.com
Basic Training Marine Corps Recruiting Depots
Warning: Videos Not Recommended for Young Children
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.