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Tamara Johnson Avatar


Early call to bootcamp

Posted By: Tamara Johnson 01-10-12


My daughter got the call today that she leaves for bootcamp on Jan 23, 2012. I knew it was coming. Did not expect my reaction to the news. I have always felt and tried to teach my kids to be strong and fearless. In particular the girls. I have 4 kids and have basically raised them on my own. Now my first born, my precious little girl, who has been a true inspiration to me is joining the Marines.

I am so proud!!!!! Yet so scared. I cannot say that joining the Military is a mistake, but this is not what I had envisioned for her. I thought before the economy went to hell that we would be able to provide for her to get thru college with no debt, not like we had. Sadly, that is not the case. It seems like a good idea to serve and that is her best option to advance herself and her goals but it is different.

When I was leaving for college, it was close to the start of Operation Desert Storm and I could not even imagine going myself. As time went on, I saw military people come out of that engagement and they seemed different then how they were before they went. I am so proud that she is fearless enough to go and enlist. But I worry that my inablitly to support her finacially thru college will cost her more than money can ever compensate for. She has been a cross country runner in high school. And if you have ever done or seen the training that the XO kids go thru, they really do push themselves and their teammates. She is more prepared physically for the challenges of bootcamp then what most people are. I thought I was at one time I was tough. But seeing her at practice, hearing her recruiters and friends talk about her excellence and commitment. I know now, I was only tough in my own mind. She has to be tough for us all and that is something I would have never thought of when I was 17. Well off she goes, to SC in 2 weeks.

I am so proud but the tears of pride and reservation wont stop flowing. I cant really show her how scared I am cause I dont want her to think I dont believe in her or doubt her. I just think so much of her and her brave decision. She constantly jokes with me about wanting to get to Afgan. I know it is real, i just hope she knows it too. There is so much to say to her, so much I want her to understand before she leaves. I am at a loss.

I love her and all I can hope is that she will eventually understand how much I love her and how hard it is to let her go. Not just into the big, world as an adult, but into the big, bad world as a defender of our country.

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Lisa Draughon Avatar


My daughter had been given an early date of Jan. 28, which seemed all too early for my liking. She is our baby, the youngest of five. At least we would have Christmas with her. Only on Dec. 13th she received another call asking her to come right away. She left on Dec. 17th, so fast our heads were spinning. I understand your fear, as mine is beyond words. She got her first choice for her MOS but it is for combat camera. That scares me to death. Christmas was so different without her and the void was so deafening. We are praying daily that she has what it takes to finish boot camp training and I think we are prepared to receive her first letter saying otherwise, but when it actually comes I don't know how we'll react. Her father was (is) a Marine so it's not like she didn't know what she was getting into. She, like your daughter, didn't want school loans to deal with and chose this path. Like you, it's not what I would have chosen for her, but it's not up to me. All we can do is pray and be supportive. I hope you get every day up until the 23rd and not another earlier call like we got. My best to you. I share your fear but also your pride. I never dreamed it would be this hard.

Posted by: Lisa Draughon on 12/26/2012




Angel Sovia Avatar


WOW. You raised a Marine all by yourself that is really something to be proud of. Yes, I'm sure its hard, but keep strong. God Bless you and your kids :)

Posted by: Angel Sovia on 06/28/2012