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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  1. #1 by Jeb on September 15, 2008 - 9:06 pm


    We are all so proud of you. It is so hard to believe that you you are not a little boy anymore. I still remember taking you down as a 6 year old to buy a birthday present in the shops in Ellicott City. I could tell you wanted the model T-Rex but instead you chose a pencil as you must have been thinking the T-Rex cost too much. This displayed what kind of character you had at a very early age. So glad we got the model. Good luck, work hard and keep positive thoughts. We are thinking about you and will pray for you. Love, Uncle Earle, Aunt Laurie and kids.

  2. #2 by darla on September 24, 2008 - 11:40 am

    Christian, I will add your son to my prayer list . I have a soft spot for the marines..someone very special in my life was a marine..LOL he could talk for ever about the marines.

  3. #3 by Christian Beyer on September 24, 2008 - 12:22 pm

    Thanks Darla. Your thoughts and your prayers are greatly appreciated.

    Ian hasn’t been the most religious fellow these past few years. He’s had some issues with the church, most of his reasons are good ones. But we just got a letter from him, the first one, and he repeatedly has asked for prayers. He’s having a rough time as he seems to have caught his sister’s cold before he left and it is in full swing.

  4. #4 by darla on September 24, 2008 - 12:51 pm

    I will pray for him and you and your wife.

  5. #5 by Jack on September 24, 2008 - 3:08 pm

    I truly admire you and thank you for your choice and your service. It takes maturity and fortitude to realize that your life needs a change of direction. I wish that I had had your honesty of self- reflection when I was younger. If I had, I think that I would have wasted less time and that my life would be much better now.

  6. #6 by Christian Beyer on September 25, 2008 - 3:27 pm

    Thanks, Jack. I will pass this on to him. I can sympathize with your feelings here – me too, amigo.

  7. #7 by charles (ted's dad) on December 11, 2008 - 6:36 pm

    I just found the pictures of Ian et al on the internet. My congratulations to him! I wish him all the very best as always, and will certainly have him in my prayers.

  8. #8 by Christian Beyer on December 11, 2008 - 7:36 pm

    Charles, what a nice surprise! Thanks for stopping in and thanks for the regards and prayers. Ian will be excited to hear this. I don’t know if you saw the graduation photo of him with his D.I.s but it’s right here:

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