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A Parent’s View Of Leaving For Boot Camp

Originally published after Holly left for boot camp.

Early on a June morning, Sue and I took Holly to the MEPS station from where she would ship out for boot camp at Parris Island.

I was a bit concerned, as the MEPS station was over two hours away, that Holly would get nervous and perhaps start to second-guess her decision about joining the Corps.

Little did we realize at the time that the only ones in the car who were stressed out were Sue and I.

We arrived at MEPS, and the old adage about the military “hurry up and wait” started to kick in.

Sue and I sat around with a group of other parents as Holly, along with dozens of other young men and women, went through the processing steps that would lead from them changing from civilians to members of America’s armed forces.

A quick lunch break, then it was back to more waiting.

Then it was time to take the Oath Of Enlistment.

Of course we took a few more pictures.

It seemed like it was taking forever for the bus that would take our daughter and the other recruits to Parris Island to arrive, then all of a sudden there it was.
(It turned out that Holly was the only female on the bus.)

Then it was time to say our goodbyes.
This image was burned into our brain, as it was the last we saw of our future Marine for 13 weeks.

Sue and I watched as the bus taking our daughter to Marine Corps boot camp pulled away.

Then we began the walk back to our car, the drive home (which seemed much longer), and the even longer wait for the phone call from Holly letting us know that she had arrived at Parris Island.


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Medal Of Honor Recipient Colonel Reginald R. Myers

(Part of a continuing series of articles spotlighting United States Marines who have been awarded America’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.)

From the Presidential Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of the Third Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on November 29, 1950.

Assuming command of a composite unit of Army and Marine service and headquarters elements totalling approximately 250 men, during a critical stage in the vital defense of the strategically important military base at Hagaru-ri, Major Myers immediately initiated a determined and aggressive counterattack against a well-entrenched and clearly concealed enemy force numbering an estimated 4,000.

Severely handicapped by a lack of trained personnel and experienced leaders in his valiant efforts to regain maximum ground prior to daylight, he persisted in constantly exposing himself to intense, accurate and sustained hostile fire in order to direct and supervise the employment of his men and to encourage and spur them on in pressing the attack.

Inexorably moving forward up the steep, snow-covered slope with his depleted group in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, he concurrently directed artillery and mortar fire with superb skill and, although losing 170 of his men during fourteen hours of raging combat in sub-zero temperatures, continued to reorganize his unit and spearhead the attack which resulted in 600 enemy killed and 500 wounded.

By his exceptional and valorous leadership throughout, Major Myers contributed directly to the success of his unit in restoring the perimeter.

His resolute spirit of self sacrifice and unfaltering devotion to duty enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.



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UPDATE: The United States Marine Corps Fills In For Santa Claus

I originally posted this last year. Holly has accomplished her goal and has become a member of MCESG.

This video is particularly special to my wife Sue and I for a number of reasons.

It should tell you how we feel about Christmas that we named our children Nicholas and Holly.

And the ultimate goal of our daughter Holly,who is a Corporal currently stationed at MCAS Iwakuni Japan , is to become a member of the Marine Security Group, more commonly known as an embassy guard.

Semper Fi, and Merry Christmas

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Medal Of Honor Recipient Captain Joseph J. McCarthy

(Part of a continuing series of articles spotlighting United States Marines who have been awarded America’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.)

From the Presidential Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of a rifle company attached to the 2d Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 21 February 1945.

Determined to break through the enemy’s cross-island defenses, Capt. McCarthy acted on his own initiative when his company advance was held up by uninterrupted Japanese rifle, machine gun, and high-velocity 47mm. fire during the approach to Motoyama Airfield No. 2.

Quickly organizing a demolitions and flamethrower team to accompany his picked rifle squad, he fearlessly led the way across 75 yards of fire-swept ground, charged a heavily fortified pillbox on the ridge of the front and, personally hurling hand grenades into the emplacement as he directed the combined operations of his small assault group, completely destroyed the hostile installation.

Spotting 2 Japanese soldiers attempting an escape from the shattered pillbox, he boldly stood upright in full view of the enemy and dispatched both troops before advancing to a second emplacement under greatly intensified fire and then blasted the strong fortifications with a well-planned demolitions attack.

Subsequently entering the ruins, he found a Japanese taking aim at 1 of our men and, with alert presence of mind, jumped the enemy, disarmed and shot him with his own weapon.

Then, intent on smashing through the narrow breach, he rallied the remainder of his company and pressed a full attack with furious aggressiveness until he had neutralized all resistance and captured the ridge.

An inspiring leader and indomitable fighter, Capt. McCarthy consistently disregarded all personal danger during the fierce conflict and, by his brilliant professional skill, daring tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, contributed materially to the success of his division’s operations against this savagely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire.

His cool decision and outstanding valor reflect the highest credit upon Capt. McCarthy and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


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The Duties Of The United States Marine Corps

Title: Defining the Duties of the United States Marine Corps

Category: Executive Order No. 969
Author/Presenter: President Theodore Roosevelt

Date: 12 November 1908

In accordance with the power vested in me by section 1619, Revised Statutes of the United States, the following duties are assigned to the United States Marine Corps:

(1) To garrison the different navy yards and naval stations, both within and beyond the continental limits of the United States.

(2) To furnish the first line of the mobile defense of naval bases and naval stations beyond the continental limits of the United States.

(3) To man such naval defenses, and to aid in manning, if necessary, such other defenses, as may be erected for the defense of naval bases and naval stations beyond the continental limits of the United States.

(4) To garrison the Isthmian Canal Zone, Panama.

(5) To furnish such garrisons and expeditionary forces for duties beyond the seas as may be necessary in time of peace.

Theodore Roosevelt

THE WHITE HOUSE, November 12, 1908,

(No. 969)


Source: Re-printed with the permission of the Marine Corps History Division


Marine Corps Motivational Posters

…These Marines have the swagger; confidence, and hardness that must have been in Stonewall Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. They remind me of the Coldstreams at Dunkerque.
—A British military officer visiting the U.S. Marines in Korea included the above in his daily report to the British command in Tokyo, 16 Aug. 1950

The Battle Of Iwo Jima

The battle for control of the island of Iwo Jima began on Feb. 19th, 1945.

Iwo Jima had tactical importance because of two Japanese airfields located on the island.

On the first day of the battle, roughly 2,500 Marines were killed.

There were over 26,000 Marine casualties resulting from the battle, and more than 5,900 Marines lost their lives.

There were more Congressional Medals of Honor bestowed at the Battle of Iwo Jima than any other battle in American history.
A total of 27 CMOH’s were awarded, 13 posthumously.
22 of these were ome by Marines.

This is a colorized version of a film clip of the actual flag raising on Mt. Suribachi:

The flag was raised, not at the end of the battle, as many believe, but on either the 3rd or 4th day (accounts and reports differ) of a battle that lasted 36 days.

Os the six men who raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, only three left the island alive.

Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the

One of the things we made sure of when we went to see our daughter graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp was to get a picture of her in front of the Iwo Jima memorial at Parris Island.

Parris Island Pictures   Iwo Jima Memorial

Traditions Of The United States Marine Corps

Marines take the right of the line or head of the column when in formation with elements of the other sea services (i.e., the Navy and the Coast Guard, not to mention NOAA).

All Marine posts have a bell, usually from a decommissioned ship of the Navy.

In the US Navy, when “Abandon Ship” is ordered, the last person to leave the vessel before the captain is his Marines orderly.

On a warship Marines do not man the rail.

Whatever the regulations say, Marines do not use umbrellas.

The Marine Hymn is the oldest official anthem of any U.S. military service.

The crowns of Marine officer’s service caps are decorated with an embroidered quatre foil, a heritage of the days when such designs helped Marines in the rigging identify their officers on deck below.

Since 1850 Marine sergeants have been the only NCOs in the U.S. Armed Forces to have the privilege of carrying swords on ceremonial occasions, a weapon of a pattern that makes it the second oldest weapon.

Officers and NCOs of the Marine Corps wear scarlet piping on their trousers, said to honor the blood shed by the Marines who stormed Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City on 13 September 1847, and traditionally called the “Blood Stripe”.

The Marines always stand at attention during the playing of the Marine Hymn.

The Marine Corps March, “Semper Fidelis” by J.P. Sousa, is the only march authorized by Congress for a particular service.

The “Mameluke” Sword, first adopted in 1826, is the weapon with the longest continual service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

World War II Marine Veteran Recalls Battle Of Tarawa

Minard Willson, 91, of Mountain Home took bomb shrapnel to a leg on Guadalcanal and got his left arm shot to smithereens on Saipan, but somehow dodged everything in the battle that some historians have called the “fiercest and fastest” of the World War II Pacific Theater — Tarawa.

Willson was a sergeant with charge over 12 Marines in a force of 12,000 U.S. Marines that fought on Tarawa from the Corps’ 2nd Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division.
The amphibious landing started at 9 a.m. Nov. 20, 1943, on the tiny island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll.

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Moto Quote Of The Day

“Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States; as our fathers made it inviolate.
The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts – not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men.#”

Thomas Jefferson

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