Thursday, March 31, 2011

Send off

Recruit traveled to El Paso from Alamogordo, N.M. March 27, 2011. We went down on Monday, March 28, to watch him swear in and prepare to board an airplane to San Diego. We met him at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station)
I was struck by the diversity of jobs available for those entering the military. There were three other young men swearing in at the same time, all of them going into the Air Force. One was to be a field medic, another going into artillary. Recruit is going into vehicle mechanics. One other young man was there waiting for his test and he was going into nuclear engineering and had passed his ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) with flying colors but wanted a higher score so he could pass a special Nuclear knowledge test with a lower score.
So today is Thursday, which means Recruit is in the last day of his "Receiving Phase," Disembarking from the bus, they line up on the famous "yellow footprints" and are familierized with processes, creeds and so forth.
Tomorrow is "Black Friday," and he will meet his perminant drill instructor and company commander.
His Daily schedule begins at 5 a.m. and gets him to bed at 9:30 p.m.
I love him so much and worry so much, I sometimes feel like I am in mourning. Really it is for his childhood, and I think about his big heart and kind smile and fear it will change when I see him again.
His biggest fear right now is that, when a drill instructor gets in his face, he'll crack up. That would be dangerous indeed!
I know he will come back to us as his kind, funny, laughing self again (and I know that will take time), but there is so much to worry about, it's overwhelming.
Oh my child, I love you so much. I know you are enjoying your new adventure, because I know I would be enjoying it.

1 comment:

  1. Ha. What a mom. I came across this only because I was reviewing the design of corporal insignia from my USMC experience of 3 years as an MP (MOS 5811) during the end of our VietNam involvement. It was a good experience: God bless our Marines and your son in defense of what we are gradually losing (good character, the ability to think instead of feel, and liberty.)
    One word of advice: don't decide to get out too glibly. 20 or 30 years goes by too quickly, it's a good career (get educated, get commissioned); and at the age of 40 or 50, you can do a 2nd career while receiving your vet pension.
    Semper Fi. DB in Santa Barbara. (Parents of 3 amazing sons, 19 - 23)