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tracy eddy Avatar

Mother

Family Day and Graduation from Parris Island

Posted By: tracy eddy 04-24-12

 

When my son boarded the bus leaving for MEPS in Nashville, then from there on to Parris Island,,a piece of my heart left. I didn't realize at the time, but when he left, I had also went with him. I was there on his first day of arriving at boot camp, when he met the screaming drill instructors,When he went to the barber to get his hair cut off,,I was there,I was there when he took each long relentless hike. When he got to his last month,, I started making an plans to attend one of the most proudest moments a mom can have,,his graduation to become a US MARINE! Everything had to be perfect,,I had to find out every last detail about Parris Island. I researched the whole area. I made an agenda. As the 3 months was coming to an end, I was getting so excited ! I know everyone that I work with knew every detail of my upcoming trip to Parris Island, because I talked about it every day!

The Day finally arrived!!! Time to hit the road for the 12 hour drive!! I was beside myself with excitement! When we reached the South Carolina state line, my heart started beating fast,,because I was just 2 hours from my first born son! When we got to the exit for Parris Island,,you can bet my camera was right in my hand! We had to stop at the gate for security check then he waved me on,,,I was driving on the base!! The very base where my son trained for 3 long, hard months! I was finally there! I was lucky enough to get a hotel on the base,,so after we checked in, we walked around the area to make sure we knew where everything was at.

We walked to the Parade Deck and saw recruits marching on the deck, but I did not see my son's company. I was frantically searching for his number, then a Marine walked up to me and asked," is your son graduating on Friday",,and I said yes,,,,,he then pointed across the field and said,,"your son will be in that group,,they are practicing for graduation",,I told this Marine,,THANK you very much!! Then this mom took off as fast as I could walk across the parking lot and checked out the companies that were practicing,,and I found my sons company number on one of the flags!!! I did not get to see him, but it was comforting to know that he just may have saw his mom!!! As I went to sleep that night at the hotel on base,,my son was asleep in his barracks just a few blocks from me!!!

Waking up on Family Day before the sun came up, so we could make sure we had good seats to see our son do the motivational run! I was finally going to see my son for the first time in 13 weeks!!!! We were all seated on the bleachers waiting for a glimpse of our son,,,then all of a sudden,,here they came,,all marching out,,,,I could barely stay in my seat!!! I got my camera ready to zoom in when they got closer. I will have to tell you,,when I zoomed in on my son's company and found my son , it was one of the most proudest moments a mom could have! When I saw him,I just had to cry! After they marched by,,they started doing their motivational run. They left the Parade Deck and started running up the street. We all rushed to the side of the street and cheered them on as they went running by!! That feeling was amazing! It was like a parade and we were congratulating the new Marines!

We had a couple of hours to wait until they released them to their families for Family Day. When they released them,,all families took off as fast as they could to get to their Marine. At first, I lost track of where my son was,,but then I heard my youngest son crying real loud,,when I turned around,,there he was!!!! He was hugging his younger brother! I rushed to him and hugged him so hard, and yes,,there were a few tears shed. We were finally seeing him!!! It was amazing how much he had changed,,for the good! This young man was more respectful,spoke lighter,,and you could just feel the confidence that he now had! He walked around the base with us, showing us where he slept, where he did drills, the firing range, where he did PT, and all the while,,,I just kept looking at him with such pride! He told me that is was very hard, but it made him proud to know that he actually DID it,,that he is now doing something worthwhile! As Family Day was coming to an end,,(IT sped by),we all got our last hugs from him and told him how very proud we were and we would be there bright and early this next morning to see him graduate!!

I slept better the night before Graduation,,I guess because I got all the pieces of my heart back together when I got to see him on Family Day.We were up early with excitement of the BIG DAY,,GRADUATION!!!! You need to make sure you get your seats early because it fills up real quick. The Marine Band started playing and out marched our Marines! I didn't know if my heart could stand so much excitement in these 2 glorious days,,,Graduation was amazing! You can just feel the pride coming off each Marine as they went marching by. It is very hard to hold back tears,,so let them fall, Your Marine earned those tears!!!

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Comments (4)

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maryann collins Avatar

Mother

Thank you for all you have shared..... I have to say it took me a moment to continue reading your story in between tearing. I can picture my day to be very similar to yours, the excitement, the heart and so on. I am a new and very proud mom of my future marine. My son made this decision, while I was hoping for another, but I think about it now. What other decision was I waiting to hear? He did this on his own, and I have to say, this is the best decision he made. He is definitely smart, strong, respectful, and I miss him terrible. I am very excited, and this all I have been thinking about.Thanks!!

Posted by: maryann collins on 06/24/2012

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Adele Connolly Avatar

Mother

Your experience was so much like mine! We did not stay at the hotel on base, but we were close by in Beaufort. Preparing to see my son was one of the most emotional times of my life, and you're right, nothing can prepare you for seeing the young man he has become! In many ways, Family Day was more emotional than Graduation because we were seeing him for the first time in 3 months, and really weren't sure what we were going to see. To see him happy, healthy, and proud to be a Marine, helped us to see that this was truly the right decision for him. WE are so very proud of our new Marine, and we know that the future is bright for him as one of the few, the proud! Semper Fi!

Posted by: Adele Connolly on 06/09/2012

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Idania Martinez Avatar

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Thank you for sharing, I had to hold back the tears reading your story. This sounds like us, although my Stepson left April 16th, 2012, and it has been 2 weeks and 2 days, but we are counting the days until graduation, we have made all the reservations from car to hotel, and we too talk about him alot at work. We have received 2 letters from him, and we hear how tough this is, also we ready that the first 3 to 4 weeks are the toughest ones, he is now entering the 3rd week and we just can't wait for it to be orver. We send him about 4 letters daily, we tell him how much we love, miss him, and how very proud we are of him.
We cry all the time, we miss him and we wish we could be there with him to give him a hug, and let him know we love and support him, and that it will all be ok, we are so proud of him, wow to be a Marine what an honor, we have a calendar of what his daily attivities are, we pulled this form the marines website, and we cross out daily a day and in our letters we let him know what he will be going thru next. Reading all the post that are here, make it alot easier. We did research as the day was getting closer, but never as to what we as parents would go thru, like the first call home (this was horrible) and then the waiting for his first letter with the address, and now the past 2 letters we have received. Parents need to also get prepared emotionally, thank God that there are websites such as this one that you can read what others have gone thru.

Again Thank you, my stepson will be graduating on July 13th, 2012 and cannot wait !!!
Proud StepMom

Posted by: Idania Martinez on 05/01/2012

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maryann collins Avatar

Mother

Hello, I read your article and would like to share that I have my son that left on April 16,2012. I am beside myself with excitement, and sadness all at the same time.I just registered , signed up to this website and think it is already amazing. I am hoping this gives me a load of useful information and relief that I need.

Posted by: maryann collins on 06/24/2012

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