Monday, February 18, 2008

Semper Fi- On becoming a Marine Mom

Forgive me for straying from food for this post, but my family is central to this blog ( and to me!) and something important is happening in our family in the coming week. About a month ago, my son announced to us that he was joining the Marines. He had toyed with the idea of joining the military previously, but then changed his mind (as young people are inclined to do), but this time he is serious, and next week he will be sworn in and head off to boot camp. And I will become a Marine mom.

My husband is from a military family, and we live in a military town, and we have numerous friends and family in the military, but I have to say that it is completely different when your child (though he is now 22) is headed into the military. I feel a strange mix of pride and fear, bcause I know that boot camp is tough, and like every mom, I want my son to succeed. I worry that he will end up in harm's way, or that he will regret a decision that he won't be able to do anything about until his term of service is complete. But on the other hand, if he is successful, he stands to benefit from additional training and education that he might not have had any other way.
So often, we as Americans take for granted to willingness of a whole population of men and women to serve our country around the world to defend freedom and ensure our way of life. I have no doubt that I will never take that for granted again. Whether you agree with current policy or not, there are people - sons, daughters, mothers, fathers- who are in dangerous places all around the world not only waging war but bringing peace, ensuring security, opposing tyranny, providing humanitarian aid, and representing all of us every day.


So what can I do but be supportive? I encourage him to work out and run, I have bought every book recommended to help recruits prepare for boot camp, and scoured websites for new recruits and parents of recruits for tips and advice to make his life easier. I will write to him, and encourage him, and above all, pray for him. I hope all of you will take a moment to say a prayer for the men and women of our armed forces, or even better, to reach out to their families in your own communities. They are making sacrifices for all of us every day, and they deserve our respect and gratitude.

13 comments:

Bitsy said...

Deborah, That is awesome. You should be very proud. He is doing a good thing Mom... hang in there!
(HUGGGSSSS)

Laura said...

Your son will be in my thoughts--I can imagine how you must feel--proud and terrified all at once. We need sons like yours but we also need moms like you.

I am tagging you, if that isn't too awkward a transition. :) The details are at http://thespicedlife.blogspot.com/2008/02/ive-been-tagged.html

Deborah Dowd said...

Bitsy-I hope he will do some maturing and that this will open opportunities for him- thanks for the encouraging words!

Laura-You captured it perfectly, and all good thoughts are very much appreciated! I will check your tag!

C'tina said...

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.[4]" John Stuart Mill

s'kat said...

Wow. Huge commitment, and huge comment upon your sons' person.

Sounds like "it's a good thing", albeit a scary one. You've done well, Mom, just keep it up.

Deborah Dowd said...

C'tina- What can I say to that except Amen!

The Cheap Gourmet said...

Deborah, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. As you already know, my "adopted" son is currently serving in Afghanistan. My 18 year old daughter is now seriously considering joining the military - a thought which scares me too. But, like you said, there are many opportunities and experiences available through the military, so I am trying my best to be supportive of whatever decision she makes.

Feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed at A Soldiers Voice blog and let us know if there is anything we can do to support you and your son. http://SoldiersVoice.wordpress.com.

Many Blessings to your family!

Deborah Dowd said...

S'kat- Thanks for encouraging words, they really help!

Cheap Gourmet- Thanks so much for the resources. I am learning a lot about being part of the military "family".

Doodles said...

D I am just now reading this and please know your entire family will be in my thoughts...Being a food blogger also and straying from said subject once in awhile myself, keep us, your readers, updated on the new Marines progress.

Ronnie (http://aroundthetable.typepad.com) said...

My husband who served in the Navy and the Marines would say that your son is doing the absolute best thing he can to become a man.Tough for a mom but I suspect your family will be enriched by his decision and experience

Deborah Dowd said...

Doodles- He was sworn in today and is on his way to Parris Island right now. We expect a very brief scripted call tonight to let us know he got ther safely, and then we probably not hear for a week or two... but we've started writing already!

Ronnie- Thanks for the encouraging words- it really helps to hear from so many supportive friends.

Glenna said...

That gave me shivers. Congratulations. I know you're so proud of him. That's really wonderful.

Annie said...

Welcome to the Recruit MOm club! My son Matt graduates April 18th in San Diego. Its a rollercoaster ride boot camp but you will be so proud!!!! If you haven't yet join http://www.recruitparents.com/
There is a lot of support there!!!