Every day across this vast country of ours, parents deal with the "news" that a son or daughter has made the choice to serve in our country's armed forces.
I frankly never gave much thought to such events until the words came from my own son.
"Guess what? I'm going to apply to the Marine Corps Officer Candidate's School."
I knew my son had been talking with the USCG, and I figured with his love of all things nautical and years in Charleston Harbor, being a "Coastie" would be a perfect match.
But The Marine Corps, was a shock and quite a surprise, and as many a Marine parent knows it doesn't really hit you until you see the Marine letter addressed to "Student Naval Aviator".
"Naval Aviator" there must be some mistake!
My son has always been polite, loved anything that went fast and very much a gentlemen, but flying in a F/A-18 and wearing Marine "Blues" is not something I saw coming.
After he made his 3rd trip in as many weeks to MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Beaufort back in April, I began to adjust to my new life as a Marine Parent.
Its OCS! Not boot camp, or basic training. Its at Quantico VA! Not Parris Island. The questions from his extended family are by themselves funny.
The work just to get accepted is insane: testing, physicals, reference letters, SAT scores, background check, GPA and more.
The fortune cookie from a Chinese restaurant two weeks ago sealed the deal.
The cellophane wrapped cookies were placed in the center of the table by our waiter. My wife trading cookies with my son at the last minute. Her a standard proverb his:
"You will soon be given a great honor".
The tiny strip of paper now resides in his wallet.
The official word came last week, he'll join class 201 and has in his hand orders to ship out this coming Wednesday.
More about the Marine Corps Officer Candidate's School: Class 186 The Making of a Marine Officer.
Update The Candidate reports that they already hate the bridge, the square corners of the corkscrew to the left to chow and to the right 40 mins later is mind numbing. The Candidate reports passing his first PFT on Monday and Bravo Company is already down by 20 maybe more.
Candidates who report to medical, disappear they are never seen leaving. Tuesday was hair cuts and more hurry up and wait.
Wednesday June 3rd marks the end of week one. 10% of the way through the course which by all indications gets harder every day.
Here's a photo from his "rack" in the squad bay.