Archive for September 10th, 2008

My Son Ian Joins the Marines

Bittersweet day yesterday. My 22 year old son, Ian, was inducted into the Marine Corps at Fort Meade Maryland and right now is enjoying his first day in the care of the sergeants.

This is Ian halfway down Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon last June. The last big family vacation. He’s in pretty good shape, always has been. He’s been known as the ‘Walking Dude’ around Ellicott City for around 8 years. I hope it pays off in boot camp.

This picture was taken in our garden with his sister, Dot, just before we drove him to the recruiting station. Notice his hair – it’s already 6 inches shorter than it was 3 months ago.

The sergeant in charge of the recruiting station insisted on cutting Ian’s hair himself. You can see that he is really into it. Apparently that hank of hair was 1 inch too short for the purpose of donation. His mom put in a Zip-Loc.

Ahh. The Mullet. The sergeant’s idea. I promised Ian this would be put up on the net.

Worth another look.

And another.

The nearly finished project. The finishing touches are to be applied at boot camp.

Does he look nervous? I sure was. (And still am.) One of the other sergeants remarked, ” Aw, there goes our Jesus.” ( Ian had been attending Physical Training at the station 3 to 4 times a week for the past three months and that had become his nickname.)

The Oath. Now, I just want to say that his mother took this picture. There is no way I would’ve let that young lady block his upraised hand. In fact, there is no way I would have allowed her in the picture. Concentrate on the yellow circle, gentlemen.

The happy recruit with his proud/sad/anxious mother.

Next time we see Ian should be in three month and, God willing, he will be wearing a United State Marine Corps dress uniform. I am terribly anxious and nervous for him – I truly regret that I never did my national service and have no real idea of what faces him now. I am more than a little envious of him.

I guess you can tell I’m also pretty proud of Ian. (I hope so.) I’ve never really posted this kind of ‘family’ album thing before. But I have an ulterior motive. The recruiting sergeant said that we should try to write to him as much as possible, perhaps every day. So I was hoping to send him a copy of any comments that this post might generate. If you’re game (and I hope you are) could you address your comment to Ian? ( And don’t forget the mullet!)


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