This post will contain USMC topics. Seeing and appreciating the training and commitment of our military is truly a Blessing to the country. I was so honored to be on base to witness the above. I will share with you my past few days….
A break from quilting related things. Family events to cherish are so important as they never come around again. Many of you know my daughter recently joined the Marines and has spent 13 weeks in boot camp on Parris Island, SC. This is truly a challenge for her and I have to say she and some guardian angels watching over her. She overcame some sleep deprivation causing some hallucinations at the beginning due to forced lack of sleep-travel and bout of pneumonia mid-training. She described the “crucible ” their final exam as challenging but not as bad as she thought. My husband and I wrote to her almost every day along with other friends and family. Now it was time to travel to Parris Island and see our new Marine!
We left AZ Tuesday early am and arrived In Charleston early evening. Flights were uneventful. We met our second daughter who was able to attend at the airport. The eldest could not attend due to her teaching. We got our rental car and it seemed a little small. I mentioned we were picking up our Marine daughter and promptly he was kind enough to up grade our car to a new SUV. I was a bit worried as she had several bags to take home. We all just had our carry on’s. We rented a two bedroom townhouse in Beaufort about 15 minutes from base. Very cute place and convenient.
We decided to check out Parris Island. I should have made reservations for a behind scenes tour, but saw this too late and they were sold out. However we did get to the visitor center early enough and heard the last part of a briefing, were on standby for the tour and because it was a small group were were about to see the whole island and listened to the tour guide as he explained things. This is an open base and nothing was off limits except a recruit and drill instructor if they were “having a conversation”. We saw many recruits in different phases of training. Pictures were allowed but quite honestly everyone looks the same. We same running, obstacles, marching, snapping and shooting rifles. The guided tour was great. Afterwards we went to Subway on base for lunch. Next was the museum. It was fabulous and thoughtfully done. We knew that graduation practice was at 3pm and so we went to that. 5 platoons lined up on side and then them marching as they would graduation. Apparently they had practiced several times-hours already. This was really the first opportunity to see her and my daughter did get some close ups. ( she did see her sister, but they cannot smile or anything).
She in the last picture is in first row second from the end.
We they practiced the whole program two times. You see they demand perfection. You also see they are wearing watches, they got them last week and for the first time they were able to know exact time. Of course then they were told when to be back or how long they had to do certain duties. There were two female platoons in this graduating class. So we were happy to see a glimpse of her and she looked good and quite thin but fit. Hair done up in a bun, which is regulation. They wash their hair in a sink not the shower and have hair gel to keep it in place. We learned she always had someone else to her hair usually the night before.
Today is the day everyone looks forward to. Time with your new Marine and they also look forward to this day. We left our place early about 5:30 am. This is to get a parking spot and a spot on the running route. They call it a Mojo run or a motivational run. They run for the last time waits their platoon and ring a bell. You get to see the, actually twice from both sides of the street. Of course your Marine needs to tell you where they are in the formation. We had an idea from yesterday so we sat at on the appropriate side. Now remember it is dark. Then we saw some running and we got over to where they were going (pre Mojo) and we saw her. Did not get a great picture. They were doing warm ups on Parade deck which is the deck they will graduate from.
Then a few more pictures
Everyone including drill instructors run. With families lined up on both sides it was like a parade.
Now these pictures are there return back the same route. We did not see her in her usual spot. So we stayed out while other families did the bit of switch running across the road to opposite side.
Then we saw her…
We found out later that she was in a winning group on field day and she won the sprinting competition. We unbeknownst to her she was selected in her platoon to print to the bells along the route, ring the bell, do some pushups and sprint back to the platoon. That is way she looked so tired.
After the run the next we headed to the all weather building which is were the Marines will march in and be given liberty from their drill instructors for what is call Family day.
We went to the building a got our seat and waited….waited….waited about 2 hrs along with countless other families. They had some videos and you could get up and walk around, but it was a long time. But finally they came…
She in there, but could not see her well because people in front on chairs stood up and would not sit down…oh well when they were dismissed she found us. She wanted to get out of there and eat! Well first we had to get her sea bag and take it to the car. She was also not allowed to ride in car per Drill Instructor so she would get her exercise in. So we also got our exercise as we did a lot of walking that day. 18800 steps to be exact.
Here she is with her McFlurry. After eating and a few stories she wanted to got to the MCX the base version of Kohl’s. Another walk to other side island. We had one other surprise for her. Her best friend and mom flew in and had just got on base so I had to come up with a story to get to where we were. We actually had them meet near the sign We Make Marines…we were taking her picture when they came up behind her and surprised her. p
Back to the MCX for them to eat something. We all talked and then she had to line up for graduation practice. We all watched another run and then left for the day.
Some other pictures of Parris Island
Yellow footprints they step on as recruits and the silver doors they go thru
Back packs…carried during crucible
I will save graduation for next time.
Managed to get some hand quilting done. Most of my other sewing stuff packed up or put away. I have one quilt for gals to pin for me and I will take it home to quilt.