Single moms are stronger than we realize and when your only child makes the decision and joins the military, do not feel alone, you are not losing your child to the military - you are gaining a ton of new sons and daughters. Whether your son/ daughter left yesterday, last week or last month, write to them. They need to hear that you are okay, that you still support them-still love them and still believe in them. Send them encouragement through your letters, encourage them to continue their journey, talk about your plans to come see them at Family Day and Graduation. Share funny stories with them, make them feel like they are still connected to home through the letters and take lots of pictures on Family Day and Graduation Day of them, share pictures from home with them that day. Always remember they are becoming more than an adult now - they are becoming a United States Marine after the 13-weeks and they will still need you-but don't baby them- love them support them and believe in them-you will not regret your decision or theirs when you see them march into the Family Day Ceremony. Only send them things from home if and when they ask for them, they receive plenty of food and good food too to eat there and home-made items they are not used to having could interfere with their new healthy diet and exercise. You might get short letters but don't get worried sometimes they are limited on time. They have responsibilities there to keep their barracks, uniforms and gear squared away and ready for the next day. So be patient-keep writing to them anyways, follow their weather online to see what their weather and temps are like compared to yours. Tell them positive things going on back home, good news from friends and relatives. Belief in them and in yourself will get your through it. When you child makes it to the next day after watching someone drop might make them nervous but reassure them that they can do this and they are stronger than they thought possible. They will be more determined each time they see what they have accomplished and they will grow with each day and find self-pride and self-confidence each time they succeed at an event/ overcome an obstacle-complete another day! When you receive the Graduation packet and Vehicle Pass you will know the long journey through boot camp is almost over. They will be sending you these things and they will know they are in the home stretch-celebrate each accomplishment through letters that they share with you. You will both be surprised. When they earn the title of U. S. Marine you will earn the title of U. S. Marine Mother (the toughest job in the Corps). Pat yourself on the back and know that you helped them get there! The Title of U. S. Marine is earned, never given and once earned no one can ever take that away from them! Be proud of them and yourself! OO-RAH!