Well, a journey of 8 years is officially over with the honorable discharge papers that were received this week for my Marine. He got them on April 16th but stated his discharge as of Feb 9 2007. I've been reflecting back over the 8 years since that fateful day in Feb 1999 when I had two Marine's at my home signing my son up...that horror of my son being in the Marine Corps, of all things. And then the tears I shed with fear in private and my following determination to support my baby's decision the best I could for he never saw those tears. I just have to chuckle now at those first impressions and how much I have learned, the friends I've made, the pride that grew, whew, what a journey..and that was just for me, the mom. The fateful finding of other Marine moms that understood what I was going through and then former Marine's. I was blessed. And now I feel I can't relate to the feelings the new Marine moms must have for their Marine's being faced with Iraq or somewhere else. I can only imagine.
The horrific deaths at Virginia this week also brings to mind when others would express their opinion of my "letting" my son join the Marine's and wasn't I afraid he could be killed? My response was that "where is it safe? My oldest son was mugged at gunpoint on the streets of Mpls and he certainly wasn't trained for anything of that sort happening, at least Matt would be trained". These people were only trying to be educated or to educate and innocent. As with any military service the possibilities of what could happen even if they are not spoken of often.
So, now I thank all who had a part of helping me through those difficult first months and the incredible journey that followed. I still am a Marine Mom and still have that pride and have a special spot in my heart for all Marine's and their families along with prayers for all.
Now we wait for the official honorable discharge of my 2nd Marine, my son's wife. She graduates from college in May with honors to become an elementary teachers.