My son graduated from USMC Boot Camp on 3 Sept 2010 from Parris Island and the 10-day Boot Camp Leave started as soon as we loaded his gear in the truck for the long ride home. We could not wait to get home to start catching up on all that happened over the past 13 weeks. I could not wait to hear all about the Boot Camp experiences and hear all the stories about all he had been through that he would want to share with me. The 10-days went so fast, we saw everyone at my job, his job, friends and all were in shock at his transformation into United States Marine. When it was time for him to leave for his next phase of training at MCT/SOI I did not want him to leave again, I have to admit this was a harder time than when he left for Boot Camp. This time you know you may only see them once or twice a year...now it really sinks in that they are a United States Marine and not your baby anymore. I was so excited to get a phone call and be able to talk to him when he was there and settled in. I worry when I hear bad weather is heading his way just like I did when he was in Boot Camp and when he was at home. The difference is he will be experiencing new and more intense training before he ships to his MOS school. The job that he signed up for is hitch. He still wants to be a 20-30 year United States Marine like a USMC Sgt Major that we had the pleasure of meeting while he was a Poolee (in the DEP waiting for his ship date to Boot Camp). He will be making more new friends and getting more training, more skills, more knowledge and meeting more USMC Brothers. He says the USMC is the life for him....he was born to do this. His DI said something profound and he has made that his new motivation to rock MCT/SOI and I am adapting it too... "Through Pain Strives Discipline...Through Discipline Strives Perfection". There will be little to no letters from him while he is at MCT/SOI due to the intense training schedule, but with my surprise phone call from him and that motivational phrase he shared with me I know I will be good to go. I write letters and save them for when I receive the first letter from him which will include his new address to mail them all to him.... books as he calls them hahahaha. God Bless our USMC!!!