I need to follow up on yesterday's blog about sending our grandson to the Marines. This was a kid who cared nothing for school and literally squeaked by to make his high school graduation. School was not his decision. To become a Marine is his decision. No one suggested it to him. No one urged him to do it. By the time he asked his father to go to the recruiting station with him, he already had the appointment and was prepared. He went from squeaking by to making a good enough grade that he was immediately made a private first class and was able to choose avionics for his specialty.
Still, the family teased him a lot about bootcamp: no more sleeping in, no more hair, no more long leisurely meals. All the while, we were able to see his determination. Nothing stirred his belief in himself and in his decision. This is a really good thing and his grandfather and I could see the maturity that had happened over the few months since the last time we had seen him.
The family is gathered. We are all laughing, teasing, even hearing good advice about bootcamp from the one military experienced person in the family. Then I say:
"Okay, Carter. All teasing aside. You get through bootcamp. You graduate. What happens next?"
"Then I go to combat training."
Suddenly the room was silent. For the first time, I think we realized exactly what we were sending Carter to do and be and become.
I would not have chosen this for him or any of my grandchildren. He did choose. Perhaps the first real choice he felt he had in his life. And he will do well. He goes with the support of family and friends. I believe we just may have sent him to a full-fledged career. I can see that happening. At the same time, I will pray for him to be kept safe and wise and for our world to learn to live in peace so that he can have a long and productive life. Bless you, Carter. You go with our love.