Parris Island ~ 02/27/12 ~ Ben's Journey to becoming a Marine.
Posted By: Julie Cohen 02-28-12
Ben came home almost a year ago and asked me to sit down. He had something to discuss with me. I am the single parent to two children. For the most part, I have raised these boys alone and really... They have been my entire life.
"Mom, I have made a decision. I am joining the Marines."
"Ben, no you are not joining the Marines!" "I am the Momma and I say NO!"
Background: I work for an NGO of the United Nations. My job is to work with educators and children around the world, promoting peace and hopefully getting arms out of the hands of kids. Primary focus is third world countries.
How is it possible, my youngest is having this conversation with me? Memories of his life flashed before me and all I could think of was... He did not have a full time father. I was not a disciplinarian. I completely totally messed up. I offered to send him to a Life Coach. Offered to send him anywhere in the world. A life journey to Peru perhaps.
"Mom, this is my decision and my journey." "You always taught me to live my dreams, and that is what I am doing." WOW - He was taking my advice. And I was crying because of it.
On Sunday, February 26, 2012 - we drove him to his recruiting station in Kingston, NY. I hugged and kissed him and whispered in his Ear... "I am so proud of you Ben. You are going to be amazing and brilliant and we are all going to be fine." I will see you in May."
Last night came the phone call he arrived, at 11pm. "This is Recruit xxxxx, I have arrived at Parris Island. You will hear from me within 7-9 days. Please do not send food or bulky items. Thank you for your support." CLICK. After I heard the dial tone, I just sat there and laughed. Seriously laughed. An hour later, I was crying uncontrollably and then this morning woke up angry. Angry that I did not even get a chance to say, I love you and am so proud of you. Not angry at my Son, but angry at the Marines. Now, I am okay. I completely get the reasoning behind it. But it does play a psychological game on some of us parents.
All I can say is this... I am so proud of this child I raised. This young man who is living his dream and following his journey. No matter what his Momma said and no matter how I tried to bribe and talk him out of it, he followed his heart. He is going to be an amazing Marine and he is my son. My Son!
I shared his story with a young man I know who lives in Nigeria. I was at a conference with him in Morocco and he really helped me. In Nigeria they do not have the protection and the rights we have. They do not have a country dedicated to keeping them safe and protected. He said, I should be so proud and honored that my son is willing to protect not only America, but even him in Nigeria and others around the world, who are threatened daily. In his eyes, my son is a Hero, as are yours.
Julie (Mom to a soon to be Marine).
Note: Adobe Reader may be required to view PDF documents. Download the Free Adobe Reader.