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>> PATRICIA PURDY: He told me, "I'm joining the Marines." And I kind of laughed because it just -- Marines? >> VERONICA LOPEZ: I hung up the phone, and I cried hysterically because I thought, what person joins the military in a time of war? >> RITA STIGALL: It startled me. I was on the phone, and I think I dropped it. >> LUIS CASTRO: My wife calls me and says, "Your daughter says she needs more of a challenge than college." >> KELLEY SHAW: I wasn't sure I wanted my son to be first to fight. You know, I wasn't sure that that was the life that I wanted for him. >> LAURA SCHOOLCRAFT: I think one of the things that I guess concerned me the most is the not knowing, not knowing what he would be experiencing. And not just even the immediate of boot camp, but what happens after that. >> ROXANNE JUNGE: The day after 9/11 happened, he called us from his dorm room. And he said -- he said, "Mom, I think I'm going to join up. I've got to help." >> PATRICIA PURDY: The thought of my son going in and fighting in Iraq was-- I just couldn't get -- I couldn't wrap my arms around it. I just -- I couldn't. 00:01:03:25 >> LAURA SCHOOLCRAFT: The patriot side of me says, "Absolutely, you know, why would I not support you in this decision? It would go against everything that you know about me and what I've taught you to believe." But then I told him, I said, "But there's the mom side of me. And the mom side of me is a little scared." >> KELLEY SHAW: I think my apprehension and my initial unwillingness for my son to join the Marines -- I think a lot of that was alleviated when I just became more familiar with the Marine Corps and what they stood for and what the values were. >> RITA STIGALL: What type of training he would be going through, how long, if anything should come about where he would have to go overseas, how soon did they foresee that happening? >> LUIS CASTRO: If the decision is to join the Marine Corps, then I would question them, like I did my daughter. 00:02:03:25 I would try to make sure that -- that the decision that they are making and the way that they are headed is exactly what they really want. >> ROXANNE JUNGE: I remember stepping back and saying, if I felt that I loved something enough so that I wanted to make a difference in life, then I'd want my parents to see that that's why, that's why I'm doing what I'm doing. >> PATRICIA PURDY: But then as time went on, I mean, the Marine Corps is really something to be proud about. Not everybody can be a Marine. Not everybody wants to be a Marine, of course. But even those that want to, not all of them can be a Marine. >> VERONICA LOPEZ: It showed him how to look forward, how to plan, how nothing comes easy, how you have to not just take every day at a time and not do the "hasta maňana," you know, "later" thing. It taught him to be confident. It taught him to become a leader. >> KELLEY SHAW: There's a lot of information. The Marine Corps gives you a lot of resources. I just think there's a lot of misconception. I think when you get to know what the Marine Corps really stands for, it changes your perception. 00:03:03:25 >> LUIS CASTRO: Once your kid has convinced you that he or she is ready to do this, then you've got to give them your full support. >> PATRICIA PURDY: It's been a really positive experience. My son has changed for the better. >> VERONICA LOPEZ: There isn't enough words to explain to you how proud I am. It even makes me a little emotional. >> RITA STIGALL: Although I was reluctant, I knew he'd be okay because he was the type of child, if he did anything, he was going to do the best. He was going to be the best. From that point on, it was just, him and the Marine Corps was a match, perfect match. >> ROXANNE JUNGE: If we're really going to have a country that has these freedoms, and nobody is really looking out for them, like saying -- pushing back when they are threatened, I'd rather have my son there because I feel like my son really understands that. And he's doing it for the right reasons. 00:04:03:25 I'm behind you, Josh. You know, I'm there for you. >> KELLEY SHAW: I would have been surprised to know, a year and a half ago, that I would feel the pride that I feel for what he's done now. And I know in my heart now he's made a wonderful choice for his life because he's very, very happy with his decision. >> LAURA SCHOOLCRAFT: When Doug enlisted, it's like we all enlisted right along with him. I am a Marine mom, unabashed sometimes. And there's nothing I guess I like talking about more, is our boys and their service. 00:04:36:28

As a parent or educator, you’ve laid the foundation of character that has led your son, daughter or student to consider the Marine Corps. Now, the Marine Corps would like you to be involved in the milestones ahead, including the decision to enlist, Recruit Training graduation and active service.

The decision to become a Marine affects your whole family, and talking with your son, daughter or student throughout the decision process will be valuable for both of you. It will help you understand and prepare yourself for the realities and pride of service. Here are some important next steps for you:

Be prepared: read the information, and watch interviews of people who are in your situation. Download the PDF’s on the right and make notes on the topics that are important to you. Use it as a reminder during your conversations with your son, daughter or student.

We encourage you to listen. Find out why he or she is interested in becoming a Marine. There are many reasons, and you can help them understand aspects of the commitment they may not have considered yet.

Stay involved as they learn more. Talk to your local Marine recruiter together, even if your son, daughter or student already spoke with a recruiter. If you haven't met with a recruiter yet, you can visit, fill out the Request More Information form and review the literature you receive together.

Throughout the journey as a Marine, your son, daughter or student will thrive on your support. Your letters during Recruit Training or Officer Candidates School will keep them motivated to earn the title “Marine.” When they do, you are strongly encouraged to attend the graduation ceremony, where you will see them as a young man or woman indisputably transformed.

Keep in touch as much as possible while he or she is on assignment. Again, your contact will remind them why they decided to serve and keep them motivated. Becoming a Marine can strengthen the bond between you and your son or daughter if you enter into the journey together.

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Comments (21)

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chris D"Acquisto Avatar



Posted by: chris D"Acquisto on 11/05/2012




Kim Burnett Avatar


My son has had the desire to join the military since I can remember. He has been involved with the Sea Cadets and has such a passion for his country and people. He will be 17 in a few months and he has asked me to support him to enlist in the Marines. It seems this is his calling, and I will support him 100%. I am worried like crazy as all mothers are, but I am so very proud of him. I am sad to say that his father does not support him at all and is saddens me. However, this site with these inspiring posts has made me feel like I have a connection to other parents who are in a like position. So, thank you for your posts :)

Posted by: Kim Burnett on 09/29/2012




Justin Fuller Avatar


Hi, my name is Justin. I am 17 and weeks away from my 18th birthday.

Its been a long tradition in my family to join the marine corps and it's my decition to join when i graduate. The only problem i have is breaking it to my mother. She thinks as soon as i leave for basic that i'm going to die! I've tried explianing how "it's not like you see in movie," but she insists she knows best.
A part of me just wants to wait until i am 18 so i can enlist by myself, but another part of my doesn't want to break my moms heart. What should i do? SIGNED, Dazed and Confused

Posted by: Justin Fuller on 05/10/2012




Kaitlyn Shanks Avatar


I am 16, almost 17 and determined to join the Marine Corps. My problem though is my mom. She says it's "Against God's will for me". How do I explain to her that its not about what she wants for me? I know that I should respect her decision. However, this is something I really want. She has always controlled what happens in my life. Who my friends are. When I see my dad. When I do anything, if I do anything. I don't want to be a puppet. She doesn't listen when I tell her that I want to be able to make them proud of me. and then She tells me that I'm a horrible daughter for not wanting to follow in her footsteps and get a Pre Med scholarship. Any help? She refuses to talk to my recruiter.

Posted by: Kaitlyn Shanks on 04/09/2012




Mary Sweeney Avatar


My son Jason is 17 years old and is finishing up his Junior year of High School. He is a tremendous student and always has been. My dream for him was to attend college after High School and become whatever it is he wanted to be. Since he was in the 6th grade, he has always told me he wanted to become a Marine. Although my first reaction was, why would you want to do that? I told him on many occasions, you have the potential Jason to make something of yourself, trying to drill the fact of college in to his head. I have had to put my own selfish thouts aside and realize that this is something he wants to do and I as her mother, needs to support his decision. I find myself thinking, "where has the time gone?" Wasn't it just yesterday I was walking him into preschool and he was holding onto my leg screaming. He will officially be able to sign up for the Marine Corp within the next few months, and I don't think I could be more proud of him!! Of course as a mom, I'm scared but I know in my heart this is something he wants to accomplish in his life, and I will support him and all those brave young men and woman, who make this decision!! This site is a great one for us parents, just knowing I am not alone...

Posted by: Mary Sweeney on 02/08/2012




Joe  Harris Avatar


Great input / Thanks! Dad who son is at PI now.

Posted by: Joe Harris on 06/16/2011




Hilde Henry Avatar


Our son is in Paris Island too, he left 6/20.

Posted by: Hilde Henry on 06/24/2011




Opal Surritte Avatar


My son has entered the Marine Corp in the DEP. He is scheduled to leave for basic training in San Diego on June 13. He has been intent on the military as a career for about 7 years. I support his decision and am very proud of him for the choice he has made. I know I will miss him and worry about him, but he is intent on a Marine career. I will support that decision in every way I can.

Posted by: Opal Surritte on 05/14/2011




Joshua Alderman Avatar


Is there any recruiting stations near Crossville TN

Posted by: Joshua Alderman on 05/07/2011




Community Manager Avatar


You can find your local recruiter by visiting or calling 1800MARINES.

-LifeAsAMarine Community Manager

Posted by: Community Manager on 05/09/2011




Pamela Rivers Avatar


Brandi talked with me about her decision. She felt she was at a crossroads and needed to do something positive with her life. How can you not back this? I had to agree with her and will be behind her thru out her journey.

Posted by: Pamela Rivers on 04/18/2011




Melody Kirkland Avatar


My son recently told us he wanted to serve his country as a Marine. We were blown away. He has always had his life mapped out. Now I know we have had his life mapped out. I have so much to share and ask and I don't know where to begin. I am scared that he is not just being rebellious or just seeing our reaction. We, my son and I have always been extremely close. We have had a great time growing up together over the last almost 18 years. I say that because I know I did as much growing as he did. what I have taught him is all coming back to haunt me it seems. I have always always told him what I want from him and expect from him is to be exactly what he wants to be and do everything he wants to do in life to be happy. To live his life not a life I or anyone else wants him to live. And to avoid regrets. They kill you. You may think you regret doing something but you will always regret not having done something you wanted. Now as college awaits next year and his time of fun is approaching he wants to go to a nightmare called boot camp. I have no other family. He is my family. I wanted to spend this last 4 years watching him finally have some fun. He is extremely intelligent, gifted in so many ways and I don't know where he got it. I realize he was actually listening to everything I taught him growing up. I was unwanted and extremely abused in every way as a child, a runaway at 14 and I stumbled my way through hell and made it into the University of Oklahoma because I had no where to live and with Pell Grants life was actually easier there than ever. I never thought I could make it that far. I taught him that he was so loved and privileged he had an obligation to take advantage of all that was before him. He had no excuse not to achieve happiness. I am starting to see how I steered him toward this. I am and have always vocalized my admiration and respect and thankfulness to the people who must have a special calling to voluntarily join in the armed forces. They amaze me, truly, because I did not get that calling. It sounds like hell to me. I am a private Benjamin.
I have so much fear of losing him. I have never engaged in any conversation online before. That is how lonely and scared I am.
Thanks for listening and sharing.

Posted by: Melody Kirkland on 04/11/2011




Heather White Avatar


Hi Melody. My name is Heather and I know exactly how you feel. I feel the same was. My son Josh is 21 now but I was a scared, lonely 18 yr old when I had him and I raised him on my own and he turned out to be such a wonderful, nice, polite, smart, handsome young man who played football and had tons of friends and loves life. He went to college after high school before telling me last year that he really wanted to join the corp. I was floored. I am terrified. He ships out on June 6th and I am beside myself with worry that he is going to be shipped off to war somewhere! I have other children and was married for a while but Josh is my oldest and my special baby. We grew up together like you did with our son. I graduated from college when he was 3 and we have just always had a special bond. I think I'm scared, to, of the fact of him leaving the area for ever. His college is only an hour away and he comes home quite frequently now, but no one knows where he will be stationed at. Please write back, send me your e-mail, maybe we can write each other and support each other through this. Thanks for listening, Heather White,

Posted by: Heather White on 04/30/2011




Gabriela Brito Avatar


Okay so I have a question.. My friend was sent to boot camp on December 6 of 2010 its about to be a month since he was sent and his family and I have sent letters to him everyday for two weeks starting on the 13 of December and he has sent us letters saying that he hasn't heard from us, why is it that he hasn't received any letters? we've double and triple checked the mailing address and his platoon number. In the last letter he said that he got sick and was in bed rest for 2 days and is still very sick I know that they can't make calls or anything but I read that they are suppose to give you a call if there falling behind, hurt or ill? why is this happening?

Posted by: Gabriela Brito on 12/31/2010




Stormi Conn Avatar


My son is 13yrs old and has wanted to be a Marine since he was 7. He is a little funny though, he refuses to play with even toy guns. He has told me over and over that he wants to be an engineer with the Marines and he wants to help people all over the world. Any advice from anyone would be EXTREMELY appreciated. He is my compassionate warrior who has a hard time taking up for himself because he doesn't want to hurt anyone's' feelings, but has gotten into fist fights for someone making fun of his sister. GREAT, GREAT kid, and I want to make sure I lead him in the right direction.

Posted by: Stormi Conn on 12/15/2010




Tina Wilson Avatar


My son was the same way.The best advice I could give you...if he REALLY wants to do it,look around in your town and see if their is a Young Marine program there.I know they have them all over the country. I did that with my son right after 9/11. He told me that's what he wanted to be....but he was shy and kinda timid.I found that program and it's done so much for him as far as the Marine Cops. They teach them about the Marines.They do drills,they are kind of like the real Marines...but only kids. They do the break them down,and build them back up. They aren't as harsh as the real,but they are tough.Getting your son into something like that would give him a taste of what it is he is saying he wants to do.....and he can then decide from there if it is still something he wnats.

For my son,all it did was make him love it all the more and he wanted to join all the more. He will be signing on his 18th birthday which is March 1 of this year. I figured that if he really wants to do this,although I am terrified,as a mom I need to support him ans the best way I could have done that was try to help him by getting him into the Young Marines Program. It will do wonders for your son.They will teach him the when he gets to the real Marine bpoot camp,it will give him a boost because he'll already know alot of what they are gonna teach them. Also,if he stays in the Young Marines till he graduates high school,he will start off at the real Marines a higher rank because of it. Look into it :) and good luck!!

Posted by: Tina Wilson on 01/12/2012




dan davis Avatar


Thank you for all your guidance to kids, aka future Marines. I am a high school coach and always propose the military to my students that are unsure of what direction to take following high school graduation. I think it is great that you are such a supporter. I sometimes have to deal moms or dads that think the military is a dangerous choice or even an unseemly one. I commend the leaders in our nation that are willing to place importance on the roles that are most important - and sometimes least attractive.

I'd be interested to hear about other teachers or coaches that want help "selling" the military to kids.

Thanks for any words of help.

Posted by: dan davis on 10/05/2010




Tammy Torbleau Avatar


I'm the mom of a Freshman in HS who is very determined to become a Marine. I belive this drive and ambition will result in him FINALLY paying attention in school. I'm being very supportive, but have to admit, I almost hope he changes his mind by the time he's 18. I'm scared to death my baby will come home in a flag draped box. How do I overcome this fear? My son isn't aware of it, but my husband shares it.
Thank you.

Posted by: Tammy Torbleau on 09/12/2010




Opal Surritte Avatar


I don't believe that there is a mother in this country who hasn't had that fear when her child was in the armed forces. I have it too. But their desire to willingly commit themselves to this career is very commendable. I have to put my pride in the man my son is becoming before my fears.

Posted by: Opal Surritte on 05/14/2011




Dorothy Striano Avatar


My son leaves for boot next July 8 and it is taking a toll on me already but it helps to know I am not alone with this feeling and if there is any advice you can give on how you got thru it pease help.

Posted by: Dorothy Striano on 10/08/2012




Sharon Ferguson Avatar


It's simple my role was to be the most motivated Marine Mom in the world to show my support for him. I am. He says I am more motivated than he is and he is the most motivated Marine in his unit. That is what the 1st Sgt. says and the Lt. Col.

I became very involved with the Houston Marine Mom's and am now the areas coordinator for Afghanistan supplies in NW Houston. I am known to many of the recruit offices and when the new moms arrive they are given my business card and I step in if they call and am their support during boot, and beyond. There are about 200 moms in the organization and we are all support for whom ever needs us. I have spend many hours on the phone to moms who's son have only been in some cases 1 hour.

I am also a Scout master and I was blessed to have 6 Eagle Scouts in one year. 3 of them are now Marines...all were Bravo Co. and the same platoon as my son was in boot. Mind you they all went in at different times after my son.

My husbands father was a retired Marine, both uncles retired and my grandfather. I have a brother retired Navy and my father and nephew are Air Force. With all that and my son being an Eagle...he was destine to be in the Military.

The recruiters I work with say I am as close to being a marine as i can get. I love the corps and I love doing the new parent talks in the spring. OOH-RAH

Sharon Ferguson
Houston Marine Mom's
Area Coordinator Afghanistan Supplies

Posted by: Sharon Ferguson on 08/20/2010