My Son, the Marine

He was an Army brat before he was a Marine. When the family moved into military housing, he walked right into the wrong house (two doors down) that first week. Luckily, military moms are used to that happening- after all, every house looks pretty much the same, so it is a common experience to have a mixed up little one show up at your door. Knocking on a few doors with the kid in tow quickly solves the problem. Often it ends up being the beginning of friendships, for kids and moms both.

My son made a new friend that day. Many play days followed. The one that stands out is the time the two boys thought it would be fun to throw “grenades” at each other- the grenades were actually shells from the North Carolina coast. My son took one to the head, and came walking home with blood flowing profusely down his face, looking like the living dead. He wasn’t even crying. Nearly scared me to death! Turned out it was a minor cut, but it left a scar- hidden by his hair until he got that Marine haircut.

When he started school, he got on the bus in the same military housing neighborhood. The bus was filled in two stops on our street. He was often the new kid at school- he attended 13 different schools by the time he graduated from high school, in four different states and three different countries. This might sound unusual for most kids, but it can be ordinary for an Army brat.

His favorite clothes were his junior BDU’s (battle dress uniform) and Army flight suit. Dressed in his camouflage, armed with his super-soaker, he went forth declaring, “This is my neighborhood and I have to defend it.” He started karate lessons. He stuck with it and earned a black belt. He could break cement blocks with his bare hands. He was part of a fighting team called Fire and Ice- he was the Fire.

The grenade incident was replayed when we lived in Panama. This time the grenades were mangoes, fallen from the trees in the neighborhood, and hoarded by opposing teams of boys. It turned out my son is allergic- extremely- to the sap on the mangoes. He spent some miserable days with a rash, trying to avoid the sun in tropical Panama. It caused him to miss field day, his favorite day at every school, that year.

In his freshman year of high school, he joined ROTC. Unfortunately, a move ended that part of his high school experience. But in a few years, approaching graduation, he signed up, delayed enlistment, for the real thing- the United States Marine Corps. Between his graduation and reporting to basic training came September 11, 2001.

As a Marine, he has been stationed in California, South Carolina, Okinawa, and aboard ship. He served in Iraq.

I am a proud Marine Mom. Semper fi. Happy Marine Corps birthday this November, and I was thinking of you this Veteran’s Day, son.

Thinking of Veteran’s Day, remember all who serve and defend the USA. Thank them whenever you see them.

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This entry was posted in home and family, SOLSC 2012 Weekly, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Son, the Marine

  1. Tara says:

    What a lovely way to honor your son, and all the fine men and women who serve our country.

  2. Judy C. says:

    We thank your son for continuing in the tradition of your family and for serving our great country. My husband served in the US Air Force for 30 years and just yesterday he said, “If I had to live my life over, I would serve again”. May God bless your son and the many other military personnel serving here and abroad.

  3. This is a lovely tribute to your son, the Marine.

    Thank you for giving us a small glimpse into your lives on bases as a child. I love the way you spoke about him walking into the wrong house and then going around with him to introduce yourself to other army wives so that they’d know who you both were. That’s a great way to build relationships.

    The men and women of our military give up so much for us. Thanks for this gentle reminder.

  4. margaretsmn says:

    Many thanks to your son and all the families who sacrifice everyday.

  5. Your note is a reminder to thank all the MOMS who share their sons and daughters in service to our country. Thank you….thank you…thank you….

  6. elsie says:

    Thank you mom for raising a son who wanted to serve in the military. A day is not enough to say thank you. I loved the snippets of life.

  7. Thank you for this tribute, a way for all of us to say thanks to those military people who give so much for us. It’s beautifully written, full of sweet memories of your travels. I suspect you gave a bunch too, adjusting to change, & then more change. I can see you are very proud.

  8. Thank you for sharing the story of your son. I was crying at the end. Well written and full of love.

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