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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

Swearing In & Headed to Boot Camp

Posted By: Karen Kontrath 02-28-11

 

Doug Swearing in for the Marines-Headed to Paris Island SC

It's been a week since my 20 year old son swore in to be a Marine and headed to boot camp. Haven't heard any news yet, but I am sure that he is very busy and I hope to hear from him soon. Watching him swear in was a very moving moment for me. I am just so proud of how strong and confident he looked and took pics that I will treasure for a life time. Hoping to hear from him soon. The image is Doug at Fort Dix MEPS swearing into the Marines on 22 February 2011.

The Oath:

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

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Comments (17)

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Melissa Harris Avatar

Mother

I don't know when the swearing in occurs. He officially signed in Sept. 2010 but was on a deferred program. We met the recruiter and he gave me an official letter but otherwise Jerry seems very protective and guarded about telling us stuff or what we can attend. Most of the info I've gotten are from here and Marine related sites. My friend from High school teaches Marines in San Diego and Yuma he has been a Godsend.
I too am struggling with my son's impending departure especially for Boot Camp. The though of not seeing his face is bad enough but, not even hearing his voice brings me to tears! He seems so ready to go but anxious. I am being brave and strong and continue to be positive as much as I can but he knows me really well. We will definitely write to Jerry as much as we can but I hope he will be able to write us back, as he gets the impression he won't have much time to do so. Thanks for the info Karen and keep in touch.

Posted by: Melissa Harris on 04/25/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

I too was in the dark with dates, very frustrating. Its like they are trying to shelter us, but this makes it harder on us, if only they would realize this. They will get mail every evening, but Sundays. Sunday is there time for the most part. They have church which from his letters is a godsend but it seems more like a college lecture place too. They get about an hour a week to write, so its something. Tell him, we wish him the best and just go there with the mind set to give it his best and he will do fine, the Marines will do the rest and make him a Marine. They don't set you up to fail.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/28/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

Melissa, I heard Jerry left on Monday. I hope you got to see him swear in. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 05/12/2011

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Melissa Harris Avatar

Mother

We were not told about the swearing in part. I knew he did it in Sept. but was not aware they would do it again. It was an intense week leading up to his departure and Jerry would not sleep the night before he left so, we had a bunch of people over. It was truly surreal but very emotional watching him go. I am hoping he gets to see Doug while he's there, I'm sure he's made friends but Doug is somebody he trusts and is familiar. Even with three others at home the void seems huge at the moment. Many friends and family are on Facebook and have been sending messages or checking in on us. We are waiting for his paperwork to come in so we can start sending letters. My best to all of you, and hang in there! A little over a week to go!!! Keep in touch and give that Marine a kiss for me when you finally get to see him!

Posted by: Melissa Harris on 05/12/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

This was the first Easter ever that Douglas wasn't here to hunt for Easter eggs. So sad, he was really missed. We took a great group pic which I will be sending to him so he can feel a part of the day anyway.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/25/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

Douglas celebrated his 21st Birthday in boot camp on April 11, 2011. It was a bittersweet day for me. I took my younger kids out for ice cream and we had ice cream for Doug, even without him here we celebrated him.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/25/2011

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Melissa Harris Avatar

Mother

How are your kids adjusting? It is hard enough on me but I worry about them. I hope he is doing well, he has a very strong spirit and will get through this but, I'm sure you are making a huge difference in his attitude and persevering.

Posted by: Melissa Harris on 04/25/2011

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Melissa Harris Avatar

Mother

Douglas!!! Hope he is doing well and the rest of the family is too! Jerry III is set to leave for Boot Camp in a few weeks. I am so glad to know somebody so close is going through the same thing. Please keep in touch and let us how you are and if you need anything.

Posted by: Melissa Harris on 04/13/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

Its been an experience. A lot of ups and downs, but it looks like Graduation may finally be within his grasp. Mail is slow, but every letter keeps him close to my heart. Grad date should be May 20th with family day the day before. Go on you tube and have a watch of The Making of a Marine 1, 2 and 3 videos. Its an eye opener. Nothing they do here will prepare them for there. On swear in day, be there, its a tear jerker and you see them turn into a man right before your eyes.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/25/2011

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Debbie Schmidt Avatar

Mother

Mine just did the same thing on March 21! It was a very difficult day for me, but I was beaming with pride at the same time. Miss him terribly. Thanks for sharing, it is going to be good to be a member of this site.

Posted by: Debbie Schmidt on 03/31/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

His graduation should be on May 20th. It has come with many highs and lows, but with each letter I see him growing stronger and confident. Mail is slow, but just write him often. They need ours sometimes more than we need their letters.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/25/2011

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Cynthia Kriigel Avatar

Mother

It has been 4 days since my 23 year old did the same thing at Fort Gilliam in Ga. on March 21, 2011.
I have never been away from him like this and all I do is wonder what he is doing and if he is okay. My head knows that he is. My heart just wont catch up. I too, can't wait for the package with all the info on how to write to him and hopefully a letter from him. I miss him so very much and I pray for him every day , several times a day.

Posted by: Cynthia Kriigel on 03/25/2011

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Debbie Schmidt Avatar

Mother

me too Cynthia. Mine just swore in and left for bootcamp on March 21.

Posted by: Debbie Schmidt on 03/31/2011

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Cynthia Kriigel Avatar

Mother

I have recieved 3 letters from my son. He is doing well. He said it is hard but not as hard as he had expected. I look forward to his letters. They are like gold. I write him twice a week. I can already tell a dfference in him by the way he is writing the letters. He is missing me as much as I am missing him. I can't wait to see him on June 17. My faith is what keeps me sane. I know my son is in the care of our loving God. Praise Him.

Posted by: Cynthia Kriigel on 04/18/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

Its a road of many highs and lows. Use the internet, There are so many you tube videos out there that help you get a sense of what they are going thru. My fav is The Making of a Marine, videos 1, 2, and 3. Its helped to have these visuals. Also check your boot camp for a site that has the schedule so you can follow along like I am for Parris Island.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/25/2011

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Community Manager Avatar

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Karen,
Thank you for your submission. We would love to hear an update on your son. Thanks again for sharing your story.

-LifeAsAMarine.com Community Manager

Posted by: Community Manager on 03/14/2011

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Karen Kontrath Avatar

Mother

Douglas has had many highs and lows thus far, but graduation day seems to be a reality. There were doubts at times, but things have gotten better, ankle injury, sickness, allergic reactions just to name a few, but things are going good now. I cant wait to see Graduation.

Posted by: Karen Kontrath on 04/25/2011

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